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VOL. 8 



Group I. 

Foundations of the Nation 

Vol. i European Background of American 
History, by Edward Potts Chey- 
ney, A.M., Prof. Hist. Univ. of Pa. 

" 2 Basis of American History, by 
Livingston Farrand, M.D., Prof. 
Anthropology Columbia Univ. 

" 3 Spain in America, by Edward Gay- 
lord Bourne, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Yale Univ. 

" 4 England in America, by Lyon Gar- 
diner Tyler, LL.D., President 
William and Mary College. 

" 5 Colonial Self - Government, by 
Charles McLean Andrews, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Johns Hopkins Univ, 

Group II. 

Transformation into a Nation 

Vol. 6 Provincial America, by Evarts 
Boutell Greene, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, 
and Dean of College, Univ. of 111. 

" 7 France in America, by Reuben 
Gold Thwaites, LL.D., Sec. Wis- 
consin State Hist. Soc. 

Vol. 8 Preliminaries of the Revolution, 
by George Elliott Howard, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Univ. of Nebraska. 
" 9 The American Revolution, by 
Claude Halstead Van Tyne, Ph.D., 

" 10 The Confederation and the Consti- 
tution, by Andrew Cunningham 
McLaughlin, A.M., Head Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Chicago. 

Development of the Nation 

Vol. ii The Federalist System, by John 
Spencer Bassett, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist. Smith College. 

" 12 The Jeffersonian System, by Ed- 
ward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

" 13 Rise of American Nationality, by 
Kendric Charles Babcock, Ph.D., 
Pres. Univ. of Arizona. 

" 14 Rise of the New West, by Freder- 
ick Jackson Turner, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist. Univ. of Wisconsin. 

" 15 Jacksonian Democracy, by Will- 
iam MacDonald, LL.D., Prof. 
Hist. Brown Univ. 

Group IV. 

Trial of Nationality 

Vol. 16 Slavery and Abolition, by Albert 
Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

Group III. 

Vol. 1 7 Westward Extension, by George 
Pierce Garrison, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Texas. 

" 1 8 Parties and Slavery, by Theodore 
Clarke Smith, Ph.D., Prof. Am. 
Hist. Williams College. 

" 19 Causesof the Civil War,by Admiral 
French Ensor Chadwick, U.S.N., 
recent Pres. of Naval War Col. 

" 20 The Appeal to Arms, by James 
Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., recent 
Librarian Minneapolis Pub. Lib. 

" 21 Outcome of the Civil War, by 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., re- 
cent Lib. Minneapolis Pub. Lib. 

Group V. 

National Expansion 

Vol. 22 Reconstruction, Political and Eco- 
nomic, by William Archibald Dun- 
ning, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, and Politi- 
cal Philosophy Columbia Univ. 

" 23 National Development, by Edwin 
Erie Sparks, Ph.D., Prof. Ameri- 
can Hist. Univ. of Chicago. 

" 24 National Problems, by Davis R. 
Dewey, Ph.D., Professor of Eco- 
nomics, Mass. Institute of Tech- 

" 25 America as a World Power, by 
John H. Latane, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Washington and Lee Univ. 

" 26 National Ideals Historically 
Traced, by Albert Bushnell Hart, 
LL.D., Prof. Hist. Harvard Univ. 

" 27 Index to the Series, by David 
Maydole Matteson, A.M. 


The Massachusetts Historical Society 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D., President 
Samuel A. Green, M.D., Vice-President 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D., 2d Vice-Preside 
Edward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. History Harvard 

Worthington C. Ford, Chief of Division of MSS. 
Library of Congress 

The Wisconsin Historical Society 

Reuben G. Thwaites, LL.D., Secretary and Super- 

Frederick J. Turner, Ph.D., Prof, of American His- 
tory Wisconsin University 

James D. Butler, LL.D., formerly Prof. Wisconsin 

William W. Wight, President 

Henry E. Legler, Curator 

The Virginia Historical Society 

William Gordon McCabe, Litt.D., President 

Lyon G. Tyler, LL.D., Pres. of William and Mary 

Judge David C. Richardson 
J. A. C. Chandler, Professor Richmond College 
Edward Wilson James 

The Texas Historical Society 

Judge John Henninger Reagan, President 
George P. Garrison, Ph.D., Prof, of History Uni- 
versity of Texas 
Judge C. W. Raines 
Judge Zachary T. Fullmore 





i 763-1 775 






Copyright, 1905, by Harper & Brothers. 

Printed in the United States of America 


c\ ~) 3 



Editor's Introduction xiii 

Author's Preface xvii 

i. The French War Reveals an American 

People (1763) 3 

11. The British Empire under George III. 

(1760-1775) 22 

Hi. The Mercantile Colonial System (1660- 

|| ; . 1775) . . . ';>■ 47 

iv. The First Protest of Massachusetts (1761) 68 

v. The First Protest of Virginia (1758-1763) 84 

vi. The First Act for Revenue from the 

Colonies (1763-1764) 102 

vii. The Menace of the Stamp Act (1764-1765) 121 

viii. America's Response to the Stamp Act (1765) 140 

ix. The Repeal of the Stamp Act (1766) . . 158 

x. The Townshend Revenue Acts (1 766-1 767) 174 

xi. First Fruits of the Townshend Acts (1768- 

1770) 193 

xii. The Anglican Episcopate and the Revolu- 

tion (1638-1775) 206 

xiii. Institutional Beginnings of the West 

(1768-1775) 222 



xiv. Royal Orders and Committees op Corre- 

spondence (1770-1773) 242 

xv. The Tea-Party and the Coercive Acts 

(1773-1774) 259 

xvi. The First Continental Congress (1774) . 280 

xvii. The Appeal to Arms (17 74-1 775) .... 296 

xviii. The Case of the Loyalists (i 763-1 775) . . 313 

xix. Critical Essay on Authorities . . . . 327 


British Possessions in North America, 

1765 (in colors) , facing 4 

Designation of Members to General Con- 
gresses (1754-1765) 154 

Indian Delimitations Made by Indian 

Treaties (1763-1770) (in colors). . . 224 

Proposed Western Colonies (1763-1775) 

(in colors) 230 

Designation of Members to General Con- 
gresses (1774-1775) 282 

British Possessions in North America, 

1775 (in colors) 298 

Eastern Massachusetts (1775) .... 310 


FEW periods of American history have been more 
written upon than the decade preceding the Rev- 
olution. Nevertheless, there is still room for a brief 
volume upon the subject ; all the world knows that 
the Revolution really began almost fifteen years 
before its beginning, because of the efforts of the 
British government to give greater unity and stiff- 
ness to its colonial system, both as to government 
and as to trade with other nations; but the real 
motives underlying the uneasiness of the colonies 
still need enlightenment. 

In the arrangement of The American Nation, 
both Greene's Provincial America (vol. VI.) and 
Thwaites's France in America (vol. VII.) are in- 
troductory to this volume: the one showing the 
organization of government against which they 
complained, and the other the danger from the 
French, the removal of which opened the way for 
revolution; the volume is also most closely linked 
with Van Tyne's American Revolution (vol. IX.). 

Professor Howard opens with two chapters on 
the conditions and political standards of the 
Americans on their side of the ocean, and of the 


British on their side; then follows (chap, iii.) 
an account of the system of Navigation Acts as it 
then existed, which may well be compared with 
chapters i. and xix. of Andrews's Colonial Self- 
Government, and chapters iii. and xviii. of Greene's 
Provincial America. The two preliminary episodes 
of the Parson's Cause and Writs of Assistance 
(chaps, iv. and v.) are followed by a discussion of 
the Sugar Act of 1766, which Professor Howard 
considers the starting-point of the Revolution. In 
three chapters (vii., viii., ix.) the Stamp Act, Stamp 
Act Congress, and repeal are considered; in two 
more chapters the Townshend Acts and the attempts 
to enforce them by the military are described. 

The narrative then gives way to an indispensable 
discussion of the Anglican Episcopate, which fits 
into Greene's discussion of the same subject in an 
earlier volume (Provincial America, chap. vi.). The 
first appearance of the West as a distinct factor 
in national life is described in chapter xiii. and will 
be resumed in Van Tyne's American Revolution 
(chap, xv.) ; and, in a later stage, in McLaughlin's 
Confederation and Constitution (vol. X., chaps, vii., 

... V 


The final steps leading up to revolution, from 
1773 to 1775, occupy chapters xiv. to xvii. The 
last chapter of text is the argument of the loyalists, 
a strong presentation of the reasons which led so 
many thousand Americans to adhere to the mother- 
country. It should be compared with Van Tyne's 


American Revolution (chap. xiv.). The Critical 
Essay on Authorities is conveniently classified by 
subjects which do not follow strictly the order of 
the chapters. 

The aim of the volume is to show what the issue 
really was and why people who had lived under 
one general government for a century and a half 
could no longer get on together. Professor Howard's 
investigations bring him to about the same point as 
those of earlier writers — viz., that war was inevitable 
because of long antecedent causes tending to inde- 
pendence, and was precipitated by the failure of 
the home government to understand either the sit- 
uation or the American people ; but that it was not 
a result of direct and conscious oppression. Yet 
this fresh study of the evidence results in a clearer 
view of the difficulties of the imperial problem; 
and brings out in sharper relief the reasons for the 
apparent paradox that the freest people then on 
earth insisted on and deserved a larger freedom. 




THE struggle between the English colonies and 
the parent state resulting in the recognition 
of a new and dominant nation in the western hemi- 
sphere is justly regarded as a revolution. Its 
preliminaries cover the twelve years between the 
peace of Paris in 1763 and the appeal to arms in 
1775; but its causes are more remote. Up to the 
very beginning of hostilities the colonists disclaimed 
any desire for independence ; yet it seems clear to us 
that unconsciously they had long been preparing 
themselves for that event. The origin of the 
Revolution is coeval with the earliest dawning of a 
sentiment of American union. Its assigned causes 
are, indeed, mainly economic and political. It was 
not a social revolution in the conventional sense; 
yet it was profoundly sociological in character. 
The conditions were favorable to the rise of a more 
united and a freer society in America ; but this was 
hindered by the inertia of a colonial system which 
the American people had outgrown. Hence it is a 
grave mistake to see in the struggle between Great 
Britain and her colonies merely a useless contest 
provoked by the fanaticism, the ambition, or the 




stupidity of a few leaders on either side. A rev- 
olution cannot be explained on the basis of per- 
sonal influences alone. 

To the friends who have aided me in many ways 
during the preparation of this book I desire to con- 
vey my grateful thanks. The maps showing the en- 
virons of Boston and the Indian delimitations were 
prepared by Mr. David M. Matteson, of Cambridge. 
For the other maps I am mainly indebted to the 
skill and research of Professor Clark Edmund 
Persinger, of the University of Nebraska. Pro- 
fessor George Henry Alden, of the University of 
Washington, has generously placed at my disposal 
the maps in his New Governments West of the Alle- 
ghanies before 1780; and for like permission to make 
use of the map in his Western State-Making in the 
Revolutionary Era, I am under obligations to Pro- 
fessor Frederick J. Turner, of the University of Wis- 
consin. I have had the privilege of reading in 
manuscript the enlightening dissertation on The 
Foreign Commerce of the United States during the 
Confederation, by Professor Guy H. Roberts, of 
Bowdoin College. 

George Elliott Howard. 









THE Seven Years* War left Great Britain the 
most powerful state on the globe, and heralded 
the rise of an English nation in the western hemi- 
sphere. Scarcely any other military struggle has 
produced so many events of decisive interest to 
mankind. At Rossbach Frederick achieved for 
Prussia the headship of the German people, thus 
in effect laying the basis of the present imperial 
union ; at Plassey Clive gained for England an 
empire in the East, whose borders are still expand- 
ing; at Quebec the victory of Wolfe won for the 
English race, though not finally for England, the 
political leadership of the western continents. 

In a very real sense the year 1763 may be taken 
as marking the beginning of the American Revolu- 



tion. The causes of that event are indeed far- 
reaching. They are as old as the colonial system 
itself. In many ways for more than a century, 
although they knew it not, the people of the thirteen 
provinces were being schooled and disciplined for 
their part in it. Almost in spite of themselves they 
were becoming moulded into one social body, an 
American society, which with the attainment of 
self -consciousness must inevitably demand a larger 
and freer, if not an entirely independent life. Their 
social consciousness was, in fact, stirred by the ex- 
periences of the war; and thereafter it was swiftly 
quickened and nourished by the blunders of the 
imperial administration. 1 

Looked at in this way, the revolutionary struggle 
reaches over a score of years, beginning with the 
peace of Paris and ending with the treaty of 1783. 
It comprises two well-defined stages. The first 
stage, closing with Washington's entrance upon 
command of the Continental army in July, 1775, is 
chiefly devoted to debate, to a contest of arguments, 
called out by the successive incidents of the halting 
ministerial policy, and occasionally interrupted by 
acts of popular or military violence. The second 
stage, except for the interval following the battle 
of Yorktown, is filled mainly with the agony of 
organized warfare, the clash of arms. With the 
history of the twelve years constituting the first of 

1 For the condition and organization of the colonies, see 
Greene, Provincial America {American Nation, VI.), chap. xii. 



these stages, it is the purpose of this book to deal, 
only now and then, as in the case of the writs of 
assistance or the navigation laws, reaching back 
to events of earlier origin. 

For the colonists the moral and social results of 
the French and Indian War were very great. In 
the first place, they were relieved from the dread of 
a foreign foe whose garrisons, stretching in irregu- 
lar line from Quebec to New Orleans, had hemmed 
them in and checked their westward march. With 
the cession of the Floridas to England, the Spanish 
rival was thrust farther from their doors. 1 The 
fall of the French dominion, the weakening of the 
arm of Spain, and the failure of Pontiac had much 
lessened the peril from the red race. With the 
French or Spanish pioneers the English colonists 
had not feared to compete; nor did they feel them- 
selves unequal to dealing with the Indian tribes. 
But there was always the anxiety lest the toma- 
hawk and the scalping - knife might be raised 
through intrigues of a white enemy; and they 
deemed it just that the imperial government 
should protect them from the encroachments of 
a foreign soldiery. 

That the presence of the French was believed to 
be a very real danger is revealed by abundant 
evidence covering the whole period from the sur- 
prise of Schenectady, in 1690, to the end of the 

1 For the French and Indian War, see Thwaites, France in 
America {American Nation, VII.), chaps, x.-xvi. 


war. 1 Thus, in 1709, Jeremiah Dummer, who the 
next year began his term of service as agent of 
Massachusetts in London, "shows how early and 
passionate among the English colonies in America 
was the dread of the American power of France," 
declaring "that those colonies can never be easy or 
happy ' whilst the French are masters of Canada.' " 2 
The effect of the French settlements, reports 
Lieutenant-Governor Wentworth, of New Hamp- 
shire, to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, in 
1 73 1, "is that the Indians are frequently instigated 
and influenced by them to disturb the peace and 
quiet of this province, we having been often put to 
a vast expense both of blood and treasure, to de- 
fend ourselves against their cruel outrages/' 3 At 
the close of the war the American colonists found 
themselves freed from this long-standing menace. 

Moreover, their imaginations were quickened and 
their mental horizon was expanded by the geo- 
graphical results. For now, with the exception of 
the island of New Orleans, an imperial domain 
stretching from the Arctic to the Gulf, and from the 
Atlantic to the Mississippi, concealing illimitable 
riches within its mountains and its plains, was 

1 See Monseignat's letter to Madame de Maintenon, in Hart, 
Contemporaries, II., 337. 

2 Dummer, Letter to a Noble Lord, 4, quoted by Tyler, Hist, 
of Am. Lit., II., 119. 

3 N. H. Hist. Soc., Collections, I., 227-230. Regarding the 
similar danger from the French on the Mississippi, see Spotts- 
wood, in Va. Hist, Soc., Collections, new series, II., 295. 



thrown open to the industrial conquest of the 
English race. The enlarged view caused by this 
new environment is a fact of vast significance in 
estimating the forces underlying the contest for 
American independence. The colonist had grown 
in self-reliance, in mental stature. A greater des- 
tiny seemed to await him, and the friends of pro- 
vincial subjection were already jealous of the possi- 
ble consequences of his wider ambition. Before the 
war the Swedish traveller, Peter Kalm, writing in 
1748, records the views of this class. It is "of great 
advantage to the crown of England," he says, "that 
the North American colonies are near a country, 
under the government of the French, like Canada. 
There is reason to believe that the king never was 
earnest in his attempts to expel the French from 
their possessions there; though it might have been 
done with little difficulty. For the English colonies 
in this part of the world have encreased so much in 
their number of inhabitants, and in their riches, 
that they almost vie with Old England." "I have 
been told" that "in the space of thirty or fifty 
years " they " would be able to form a state by them- 
selves, entirely independent" of the mother-coun- 
try. 1 For like reasons, in 1760, when peace seemed 
near at hand, the ministry were urged to yield 
Canada rather than Guadeloupe to the French. 
According to William Burke, a friend and kinsman 
of the celebrated statesman, Canada in French hands 

1 Kalm, Travels, I., 262-265. 


was necessary to preserve the "balance of power in 
America." If "the people of our colonies," he in- 
sisted, " find no check from Canada, they will extend 
themselves almost without bounds into the inland 
parts. They will increase infinitely from all causes. 
What the consequences will be to have a numerous, 
hardy, independent people, possessed of a strong 
country, communicating little or not at all with 
England," he leaves to "conjecture." 1 

Replying to Burke's pamphlet, Franklin, then rep- 
resenting Pennsylvania in London, with character- 
istic eloquence and force presented the other side of 
the case in 1760. With Canada in English hands, 
"our planters will no longer be massacred by the 
Indians/ who must then depend upon us for 
supplies; and in the event of another war with 
France we shall not be put "to the immense ex- 
pense of defending that long - extended frontier." 
True, the colonists would thrive and multiply. In 
a century, at the present rate of increase, " British 
subjects on that side the water" would be "more 
numerous than they now are on this." But with 
right treatment their growing power would not 
affect their allegiance. They have different gov- 
ernments, laws, interests, and even manners. "Their 
jealousy of each other is so great, that however 
necessary a union of the colonies has long been, 
for their common defence and security against their 

1 Burke, Remarks on the Letter Addressed to Two Great Men, 



enemies, and how sensible soever each colony has 
been of that necessity," such a union has thus far 
been impossible. If not against the French and 
the Indians, "can it reasonably be supposed there 
is any danger of their uniting against their own 
nation, which protects and encourages them, with 
which they have so many connexions and ties of 
blood, interest, and affection, and which, it is well 
known, they all love much more than they love one 
another?" While "the government is mild and 
just, while important religious and civil rights are 
secure, such subjects will be dutiful and obedient. 
The waves do not rise but when the winds blow." On 
the other hand, nothing is more likely to render 
"substantial" the "visionary danger of indepen- 
dence" than the heartless exposure of the colonists 
again to the "neighborhood of foreigners at enmity" 
with their sovereign. Will they then "have reason 
to consider themselves any longer as subjects and 
children, when they find their cruel enemies hallooed 
upon them by the country from whence they 
sprung ; the government that owes them protection, 
as it requires their obedience ? ' ' Should the ministry 
take this course, it "would prevent the assuring to 
the British name and nation a stability and per- 
manency that no man acquainted with history 
durst have hoped for till our American possessions 
opened the pleasing prospect." 1 Pitt agreed with 

1 Franklin, Interest of Great Britain Considered, with Regard 
to Her Colonies, in Works (Bigelow's ed.), III., 83. 


Franklin, taking a course consistent with broad 
statesmanship and generous humanism. 

In another way the war had prepared the colonists 
for the approaching contest. They had gained 
military experience and become aware of their 
own military strength. Battling side by side with 
the British regulars against the veterans of France, 
they had won confidence in themselves. They had 
tested their own fighting capacity, and had learned 
the need of modifying European tactics and Euro- 
pean methods to suit the exigencies of frontier war- 
fare. Moreover, at the Revolution the colonies 
possessed some officers and men who had been 
trained in actual warfare. 

Most significant of all the results of the war was 
its influence in forcing out the already nascent 
sentiment of social unity. Founded at different 
times, under separate charters, and for diverse mo- 
tives, the American provinces were in fact thirteen 
distinct societies. Except for their allegiance to a 
common sovereign, they were in theory as inde- 
pendent as if they had been foreign states. They 
waged commercial and even physical war upon each 
other. Political, economic, and religious antago- 
nisms hindered their healthier growth. Social isola- 
tion is the mark of colonial as well as of Hellenic 
history ; and in the one case it was nearly as harmful 
as in the other. Its evils were early perceived ; and 
for more than a century before the outbreak of 
the French war one finds occasional experiments, 



plans, or opinions which give expression to the 
desire for a political union of all or a part of the 
colonies. Such, in 1643, was the New England 
Confederation, which, in spite of its defects, served 
well for a time the needs of its members. 1 Even 
the hated general government of Andros taught 
its adversaries an unintended lesson which bore 
fruit after many days. 2 The value of federation 
was suggested, while the arguments, the methods, 
and the spirit with which the policy of Grenville 
and Townshend was resisted were then antici- 
pated. 3 

From this time onward, as population grew, busi- 
ness expanded, and the final struggle with France 
drew near, the need of a common colonial govern- 
ment was felt more and more keenly by thoughtful 
men. 4 As early as 1698 William Penn prepared 
"A brief and plain scheme how the English colonies 
in the North parts of America . . . may be made more 
useful to the crown and one another's peace and 
safety with an universal concurrence. " Under the 
presidency of a royal commissioner a representative 
congress is to assemble at least once in two years. 
It is to be composed of two " appointed and stated 

1 Tyler, England in America {American Nation, IV.), chap, 

2 Andrews, Colonial Self -Government {American Nation, V.), 
chaps, xvi., xvii. 

3 Letter of "Phileroy Philopatris," Colonial Papers, 1683, 
December 14, quoted by Doyle, Puritan Colonies, II., 223. 

4 Greene, Provincial America {American Nation, VI.), chap. xi. 


deputies" from each province; and its "business 
shall be to hear and adjust all matters of complaint 
or difference between province and province," in- 
cluding absconding debtors, extradition, commerce, 
and ways and means for securing the safety and 
united action of the colonies against the public 
enemies. 1 In the same year Charles Davenant, 
praising this "constitution," suggests the creation 
of a " national assembly " to exercise powers simi- 
lar to those assigned by Penn to his "congress." 
"Though he advocated an exercise of the full power 
of the mother country over the colonies," says 
Frothingham, 2 "yet he urged also a principle con- 
stantly put forth by them ; namely, that, in any gov- 
ernment that might be established over them, care 
should be taken to observe sacredly the charters 
and terms under which the emigrants, at the hazard 
of their lives, had effected discoveries and settle- 
ments" ; and " one of his liberal remarks is, that the 
stronger and greater the colonies grow, 'the more 
they would benefit the crown and the kingdom; 
and nothing but such an arbitrary power as shall 
make them desperate can bring them to rebel.'" 
A "Virginian," writing in 1701, criticises the 
schemes of Penn and Davenant, urging that the 
colonies ought to have, not an equal number of 
deputies in the general assembly, but a representa- 

1 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., IV., 296. 

2 Davenant, Discourse on the Plantation Trade, quoted in 
Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 11 1. 



tion better apportioned according to their respective 
numbers and resources. 1 

In 1722 Daniel Coxe, anticipating some features 
of Franklin's plan, recommended that " all the col- 
onies appertaining to the crown of Great Britain 
on the northern continent of America, be united 
in a legal, regular, and firm establishment," under a 
"lieutenant, or supreme governour," and with a 
representative assembly for control of its finances. 2 
Plans more favorable to the prerogative were also 
suggested from time to time, as by Robert Living- 
ston in 1 701, and by Archibald Kennedy in 175 2. 3 
Occasional congresses of governors and other of- 
ficials for conference with the Indians likewise did 
something to extend intercolonial acquaintance and 
to kindle the slowly dawning perception of the es- 
sential solidarity of provincial interests throughout 
the continent. 4 

Finally, in 1754, the famous Plan of Union drafted 
by Franklin was actually accepted by the Albany 
convention. This constitution for a united Amer- 
ican people, proposed by a representative conven- 
tion, is a new and significant event in the history 

1 An Essay upon the Government of the English Plantations, 
69, summarized by Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 109-112. 

3 Coxe, Description of the English Province of Carolana, 

3 Livingston, in N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., IV., 874; Kennedy, 
Importance of the Friendship of the Indians, 7-15, 38; Frothing- 
ham, Rise of the Republic, 116; part of the texts in American 
History Leaflets, No. 14. 

* Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, chap. iv. 

VOL. VIII. — 3 


of political science. 1 Among its provisions are some 
far wiser than the corresponding ones in the Articles 
of Confederation, of which it is the prototype. It 
never became a law. In America it was rejected as 
allowing " too much to prerogative, " and in England 
" as having too much weight in the democratic part." 

The assemblies did well to decline an instrument 
which by one of its provisions, not in Franklin's 
original draft, would have yielded to Parliament 
the right to change their local institutions. Yet in 
its failure Franklin's plan was a lasting success. 
The educational value of an earnest debate on the 
great problem of American union, taking place 
simultaneously throughout the thirteen colonies, 
should not be underestimated. At the very out- 
break of the war a problem, which thus far for a 
few leaders had possessed mainly a literary or 
speculative interest, had definitively entered the 
field of practical politics. Still the hope of federa- 
tion would have to flower before it could yield 
actual fruit. The heart of the plain people had 
not yet been touched. This is what the war 
effected. The experiences of the war called into 
being a real though inchoate popular opinion re- 
garding the social destiny of the English race in 
America — a rudimentary national sentiment which 
impending events would speedily force into full 
and unquenchable life. 

Hitherto there had not been, and under ordinary 

1 Thwaites, France in America {American Nation, VII.) , chap. x. 



circumstances there could hardly be, much inter- 
communication. Travel was then a serious business. 
By stage, four days were needed to go from Boston 
to New York, and three days more to reach Phila- 
delphia. Even the "flying-machine," put on the 
road in 1766, required two days for the trip between 
the last-named cities. The newspapers were few, 
dear, and scant of information. In fair weather, 
to spread news throughout the colonies took three 
weeks, and much longer than that in winter. Few 
of the wealthy or public men of the south had 
ever seen those of the north. The common people 
of one colony had the vaguest notions regarding 
their neighbors in another, and often their intense 
provincialism was mingled with bitter prejudices 
bred by earlier antagonisms or rivalries. The war 
in many ways broke down the barriers and got 
people to know each other. Legislatures were 
called upon to discuss the same or similar measures. 
Men from Virginia or Pennsylvania met those of 
Massachusetts or Connecticut in council or on the 
march and by the camp-fire, and they succored one 
another in battle. The money and troops sent to the 
north by the southern and less exposed colonies bred 
" mutual good-will, ' ' and the colonial officers " forgot ' ' 
their "jealousies" in the contempt shown for them 
by the British subalterns. The private soldiers, too, 
resented the patronizing airs of the king's regulars. 1 

1 Andrews, United States, I., 158; Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, 
of New Eng., II., 668. 


Negatively, in still another way the colonies were 
being drawn together and apart from the British 
government. For it was precisely at this time that 
alarm was caused by the schemes of the ministry 
and the suggestions of governors like Shirley of 
Massachusetts, Bernard of New Jersey, and Din- 
widdie of Virginia, for raising a war revenue on the 
colonies and overriding their chartered rights. In 
1754, as later in 1756 and 1760, the " British minis- 
try heard one general clamor from men in office for 
taxation by act of parliament." 1 The governors 
were ordered to provide for quartering troops on 
the colonists and for impressing carriages and pro- 
visions for their support. 2 Almost everywhere bit- 
ter disputes arose between the assemblies and the 
executive bodies. The proprietors of Pennsylvania 
selfishly declined to share with the people the bur- 
den of extra taxation, leading to a prolonged 
struggle, in which in 1760 the assembly was victori- 
ous. In Maryland a similar contest with the pro- 
prietor was carried on. 3 

Under Newcastle as the nominal head, suggests 
a recent English scholar, "the two ministers who 
were practically responsible for the disasters which 
brought Pitt into office were Halifax, as president 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), II., 408-418, 443-449, 


2 See orders of 1758, in Hubert Hall, "Chatham's Colonial 
Policy," in Ant. Hist. Review, V., 664. 

3 Black, Maryland's Attitude in the Struggle for Canada 
(Johns Hopkins University Studies, X., No. 7). 


of the Board of Trade and Plantations, and Sir 
Thomas Robinson, as the departmental secretary 
of state. If we add to these military and naval ad- 
visers as pedantic as Ligonier and Anson, command- 
ers such as Braddock and Loudoun, governors of 
the type of Shirley, and the whole crew of brigadiers 
and post-captains, attorneys-general, vice-admirals, 
and revenue officers, all prepared to take their 
cue from the sententious loyalty which pervaded the 
optimist despatches from Whitehall, we shall not be 
surprised if 'the just grievances of his Majesty's 
loyal and faithful subjects' waited in vain for 
redress." 1 Nor need we wonder if a nagging and 
hectoring policy, just when there was supreme need 
of conciliation, should have aided in awakening the 
social consciousness of America. 

Governor Shirley, indeed, in 1755, did not sym- 
pathize with the "apprehensions" that the colonies 
"will in time unite to throw off their dependency 
upon their mother country, and set up one general 
government among themselves." Their different 
constitutions, clashing interests, and opposite tem- 
pers made "such a coalition" seem "highly im- 
probable." "At all events, they could not main- 
tain such an independency without a strong naval 
force, which it must forever be in the power of 
Great Britain to hinder them from having"; and 
he makes the sinister suggestion, that "whilst his 

1 Hubert Hall, "Chatham's Colonial Policy," in Am. Hist. 
Review, V., 664. 


majesty hath seven thousand troops kept up within 
them, with the Indians at command, it seems easy, 
provided his governors and principal officers are 
independent of the assemblies for their subsistence 
and commonly vigilant, to prevent any step of 
that kind from being taken." 1 Others had a keen- 
er vision. In the same year John Adams, then 
a village school-teacher, believed that "if we can 
remove the turbulent Gallicks, our people, accord- 
ing to the exactest calculations, will in another 
century become more numerous than England 
itself. Should this be the case, since we have, I 
may say, all the naval stores of the nation in our 
hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of the 
seas ; then the united forces of all Europe will not be 
able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from 
setting up for ourselves is to disunite us." 2 

Already, in 1730, Montesquieu had prophesied 
that because of the laws of navigation and trade 
England would be the first nation abandoned by 
her colonies. 3 Not long thereafter, in his memoirs, 
Argenson predicted that the English colonies in 
America would sometime rise against the mother- 
country, form themselves into a republic, and 
astonish the world by their progress. 4 In 1750, 

1 Shirley to Sir Thomas Robinson, August 15, 1755, in Bancroft, 
United States (10 vol. ed.), IV., 214. 

2 Adams, Works, I., 23. 

3 Montesquieu, " Notes sur l'Angleterre," in CEuvres (ed. of 
1826), VIII., 452. 

4 Argenson, Pensees sur la Reformation de VEtat, I., 55, 56. 



twenty-five years before Washington had begun 
to favor independence, Turgot had likened colonies 
to fruit which clings to the parent stem only until 
ripe, and predicted that what Carthage once did 
"America will sometime do." 1 On learning of the 
terms of the treaty of 1763, Vergennes, then French 
ambassador at Constantinople, said that "the 
consequences of the entire cession of Canada are 
obvious. I am persuaded England will ere long 
repent of having removed the only check that could 
keep her colonies in awe. They stand no longer in 
need of her protection ; she will call on them to con- 
tribute toward supporting the burdens they have 
helped to bring on her; and they will answer by 
striking off all dependence." 2 

The population of the colonies was of first-rate 
quality for nation - building. The basis was of 
Anglo-Saxon stock. The New England people were 
almost pure English, with slight intermixture of 
Scotch-Irish and other elements. The Scotch were 
numerous, notably in New Hampshire and North 
Carolina. There were French Huguenots, partic- 
ularly in South Carolina, a few Swedes in Dela- 
ware, Dutch in New Jersey and New York, while 
perhaps a third of the inhabitants of Pennsylvania 
were Germans. According to the most careful 
estimate, the thirteen colonies in 1760 had a total 

1 Stephens, Turgot, 165. 

2 Vergennes, as quoted in Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), 
II., 564. 


population of about 1,600,000; 2,000,000 in 1767; 
2,200,000 in 1770; 2,600,000 in 1775; 2,800,000 in 
1780. 1 In 1763, therefore, the whole number of 
souls was not far from 1,775,000. Of this number 
about 360,000 were negroes, slave and free, of whom 
more than three-fourths were south of Pennsylvania. 

In 1775 Massachusetts had about 335,000 in- 
habitants; Pennsylvania 300,000; New York 190,- 
000; North Carolina over 265,000; and Virginia 
450,000, of whom one - third were blacks. The 
colonial population was doubling itself in twenty- 
three years, and it was very largely rural. As in the 
Old World, the tide of migration to urban centres was 
only beginning. In 1763 there were but four towns 
of considerable size in the country: Boston and 
Philadelphia 2 each with about 20,000, New York 
with perhaps 12,000, and Charleston with 9000 
persons. Baltimore may have had 5000, Provi- 
dence 4000, and Albany 3000. Nearly five per 
cent, of the colonial population was then urban; 
whereas, by the census of 1900, over forty per cent, 
of the people of continental United States dwell in 
towns of at least 2500 inhabitants. 

At the beginning of the Revolution servants by 
indenture were still being advertised for sale. These 
included free persons, whom necessity forced into 

1 Dexter, Estimates of Population in tlie American Colonies, 
50; Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), II., 390. 

'See estimates for 1759 by Burnaby, Travels (ed. of 1775), 
76, 133; Lecky, England, III., 30.3, 307. 



temporary bondage, as well as banished convicts. 1 
Thus, in 1753, it was announced that the Greyhound 
had arrived at the Severn, Maryland, "with 90 
persons doomed to stay seven years in his Majesty's 
American plantations." Two years later the same 
newspaper informed the public that "more than 
100 seven-year passengers have arrived at Annap- 
olis." Criminals were transported to the same 
colony as late at least as 17 74. 2 The fact is en- 
lightening. The propriety of receiving the foul 
harvest of the London prisons seems scarcely to have 
been questioned by the colonists. The slight prog- 
ress made in the knowledge of social as well as 
economic laws should never be forgotten in trying 
to understand the origin and long toleration of 
British colonial policy. 

1 Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, of New Eng., II., 520, 695. 

1 Boston Gazette, May 8, 1753, and July 10, 1755. Cf. Butler, 
"British Convicts Shipped to American Colonies," in Am. 
Hist. Review, II., 29, 3c* 




i \ British Empire comprised the united kingdom 
of England, Wales, and Scotland; the dependencies 
of Ireland, Man, and the Channel Islands; the sea 
fortress of Gibraltar and other stations ; the Asiatic 
possessions ; and the colonies in America. Together 
England, Wales, and Scotland had a population of 
about 8,500,000. Since the union in 1707 Scot- 
land had enjoyed full commercial and political 
equality with England, and already she was be- 
coming somewhat reconciled to the loss of inde- 
pendent nationality. Ireland, with perhaps 3,500,- 
000 people, was a " satrapy" frightfully misgovern- 
ed. There the seeds of rebellion were already sown, 
and before the century was out they were to bear 
their own proper fruit. "Ireland," says a mod- 
ern English historian, "was absolutely subject to 
Britain, but she formed no part of it, she shared 
neither in its liberty nor its wealth." The forms of 
national life to her were a mere sham, and her peo- 
ple were ruthlessly exploited for the benefit of an 

French and Indian War the 



arrogant and greedy Protestant oligarchy. In "all 
social and political matters the native Catholics, 
in other words, the immense majority of the people 
of Ireland, were simply hewers of wood and draw- 
ers of water for Protestant masters." 1 The Irish 
were excluded from the trade privileges enjoyed by 
Scotchmen and Englishmen: a heavy duty was laid 
on their woollen cloth; the trade in linen, one of 
their most important manufactures, was hampered; 
and they were forbidden to raise tobacco. Thus, 
in the interest of the colonies and her Scotch and 
English neighbors, Ireland was hindered from de- 
veloping even her meagre natural resources. Pov- 
erty, misery, and social anarchy prevailed. 

On the other hand, the prosperity which England 
enjoyed had for near half a century been unbroken. 
During the long interval of peace under Sir Rob- 
ert Walpole (17 21-1742), industry had received a 
mighty impulse to which it still responded. The 
colonies flourished through the " salutary neglect" 
of the mother - country. At home land rents had 
advanced fifty per cent., and scientific methods of 
agriculture and stock - breeding were being tried 
with good results. 2 The navigation acts, originally 
designed to transfer the monopoly of the carrying 
trade from Dutch to English bottoms and to control 
the market for colonial products, seemed justified 
by the vast increase in the volume of commerce. 

1 Green, Hist, of English People, IV., 263. 

1 Cunningham, English Industrial History, chap. viii. 


During the reign of George II. exports had nearly 
doubled; and between 1760 and 1774, notwith- 
standing an unwise change in colonial policy, they 
grew from £14,693,270 to £17,128,029.* Among 
the nations of the world commercial and maritime 
supremacy already belonged to Great Britain. 

In population and wealth the great towns were 
advancing with rapid strides. By 1763 London 
had not less than 650,000 inhabitants. Bristol, 
with about 100,000, had trebled its numbers since 
Charles II. ; while Norwich came next with some 
60,000 souls. Furthermore, there were signs of the 
coming industrial era in the rise of new trading and 
manufacturing centres. Liverpool, with over 30,000 
people, had " become indisputably the third port in 
the kingdom, and it was soon prominent beyond all 
others in the slave-trade." Other towns had grown 
with even more extraordinary speed. Birmingham 
now had at least 30,000; Newcastle 40,000; Man- 
chester, excluding the suburbs more than 45,000; 
while the whole population of Lancashire had risen 
from about 166,000 in 1700 to 297,000 in 17 50. 2 
The future gave fair promise of great wealth. To be 
sure, the war had raised the national debt from near 
£72,000,000 to over £139,000, 000, 3 but with prudent 
management it would scarcely become a serious 
burden for the growing fiscal strength of the realm. 

1 Craik, Hist, of Commerce, II., 202; III., 67. 
1 Lecky, England, VI., 213-215. 

* Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (ed. of 1896), II., 463. 




The government of the kingdom was vested in the 
crown and Parliament. It was, in fact, a govern- 
ment of two powers, for Montesquieu's famous 
theory of checks and balances — based mainly on his 
view of the English constitution — was not real. 
He distinguishes three functions of government — 
the executive, the legislative, and the judicial — each 
of which should be exercised by a separate au- 
thority. 1 He may have been led to this conclusion 
by a consideration of the fact that the Act of 
Settlement (1701) had secured the independence of 
the judges, who could no longer be removed from 
office without the address of both houses of Parlia- 
ment. But in fact the courts did not exercise a 
distinct governmental function: their powers were 
mixed — partly legislative and partly executive. 
English 14 political ideas were not reconcilable with 
the existence of three powers of government. 
Parliament, it is true, made the law, but so did the 
courts in their power of deciding concrete cases. 
The laws also were enforced by authorities which 
at the same time administered justice." 2 

Moreover, even the executive and legislative 
functions were not exercised exclusively by separate 
agencies. Since the reign of William III. the theory 
of government by responsible ministers with seats 
in Parliament had existed; and since George I. the 
members of the cabinet were selected in the king's 

1 Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, book xi., chap. vi. 
a Goodnow, Politics and Administration, 12. 


name by the prime - minister, who was called to 
office directly by the crown. Already the right of 
members of the Commons to ask questions of the 
ministry on matters of public policy showed that 
the theory of responsibility was becoming a reality. 
Under normal conditions, the time would soon 
come when through the king's ministers the House 
of Commons would virtually govern the state. 

The normal course of development was checked 
for a season through the character of the new king. 
The accession of George III. in 1760 marks the 
beginning of a retrogressive movement in the history 
of the English constitution. From the start, setting 
himself against the principle already established 
that the sovereign shall act only through responsible 
ministers, the king resolved to govern as well as 
reign. The experiment was in the highest degree 
perilous ; for the maxim "the king can do no wrong " 
holds good only so long as he acts not at all of his 
own motion. George was wretchedly educated, most 
unfortunate in such training as he had received. 
Under the influence of his mother, the ambitious 
princess dowager of Wales, and his groom of the 
stole, Lord Bute, he had developed notions of royal 
prerogative which entirely unfitted him for his 
duties as a constitutional king. According to Lord 
Waldgrave, at one time his governor, he was "full 
of princely prejudices, contracted in the nursery, 
and improved by the society of bed-chamber women 
and pages of the back-stairs." In his youth his 




mother had repeatedly said to him, "George, be 
king." Following her counsel, as May says, he 
"came to the throne determined to exalt the kingly 
office; and throughout his long reign he never lost 
sight of that object." 1 

Though the judgment is perhaps not too em- 
phatic that the third George "had a smaller mind 
than any English king before him save James the 
Second," and that "his only feeling towards great 
men was one of jealousy and hate," 2 yet he possessed 
a sturdy character which for good or ill was sure to 
leave a lasting mark on the history of his country. 
For several reasons he was favorably contrasted with 
his ancestors. In speech, feeling, and habits the 
first two princes of the house of Hanover were Ger- 
mans, while George III. was an Englishman. " Born 
and educated in this country, I glory in the name of 
Briton," are the words which his own hand added 
to the draft of his first speech to Parliament. 3 His 
private life was simple and decorous. He exhibited 
the domestic virtues in an eminent degree. He was 
a good son, a faithful husband, a conscientious father, 
a devout and punctilious churchman. He loved 
to mingle with the people and to greet kindly the 
children whom he met on his walks. He was 
morally brave, and his remarkable physical courage 

1 Waldgrave, Memoirs (ed. ofi82i),63; Albemarle, Memoirs of 
Rockingham, I., 3; May, Const. Hist, of Eng., I., 23. 

2 Green, Hist, of English People, IV., 201. 
* Rose, Correspondence, II., 189. 


stood more than one severe test during his reign. 
In addition he had a firmness of will, a tenacity of 
purpose, which might degenerate into obstinacy — a 
very dangerous gift for a prince of small intellect, 
inheriting vast and varied sources of influence and 
power. 1 

If George III. was a good man, he was decidedly a 
bad ruler. "It may be said without exaggeration 
that he inflicted more profound and enduring in- 
juries upon his country than any other modern 
English king. Ignorant, narrow-minded, and ar- 
bitrary, with an unbounded confidence in his own 
judgment, and an extravagant estimate of his pre- 
rogative, resolved at all hazards to compel his 
ministers to adopt his own views, or to undermine 
them if they refused, he spent a long life in ob- 
stinately resisting measures which are now almost 
universally admitted to have been good, and in 
supporting measures which are as universally ad- 
mitted to have been bad." 2 When he ascended the 
throne England was still in the hands of a Whig 
oligarchy which had controlled it for almost half 
a century. A few great families dominated Parlia- 
ment and enjoyed a monopoly of pensions, honors, 
and preferments. While there was still danger from 
the Young Pretender, the Tories were silenced. 
Pitt alone had made a breach in the solid Whig ranks, 
for he boldly proclaimed that he owed his place as 

1 Thackeray, Four Georges (ed. of 1891), 72; on his courage, 
Lecky, England, III., 14. 2 Ibid., III., 15. 




war minister to the voice of the people. But the 
king detested the Great Commoner, whom he called 
a "trumpet of sedition," and he determined to build 
up a party of his own through appeal to the Tories, 
who since Culloden had already begun to lift their 
heads. Pitt was disgraced, and in 1762 the Earl 
of Bute, leader of "the king's friends," became first 
lord of the treasury. 

The new prime - minister was unpopular as a 
Scot, hated for his arrogance, and utterly devoid of 
statesmanlike qualities. His rise had been rapid. 
In thirteen months he passed from the stole through 
a series of honors to the head of the cabinet. " His 
sudden elevation resembled that of an Eastern 
vizier, rather than the toilsome ascent of a British 
statesman." 1 But in calling his favorite to office 
the king was in reality taking the first step towards 
the establishment of his own personal rule. He was, 
in fact, imitating the dangerous policy of Edward II. 
and the first two Stuarts. With steady persistence 
he strove to create and then to master the Whig 
factions. In 1770 his victory was complete. For 
twelve years thereafter, in the name of Lord North, 
the king virtually governed the realm; and he did 
not drop the reins until his hand was forced by the 
loss of America, whose rebellion his fatuous course 
had done most to provoke. 

To accomplish his purpose the king did not 
scruple to employ every questionable device known 

1 May, Const. Hist, of Eng., I., 31. 

VOL. VIII.— 4 


to the politics of that corrupt age. Although Sir 
Robert Walpole may not have been the author of 
the cynical maxim "Every man has his price," 1 
bribery flourished during his rule, but perhaps in 
no greater degree than under the ministries which 
followed. The low tone of public morality is strik- 
ingly revealed by the attitude of Pitt. Ostenta- 
tiously pure in his own methods, scorning to give or 
to take a bribe, he hesitated neither to share the 
government with Newcastle — past -master of the 
arts of political corruption — nor to advance his own 
measures through his colleague's sinister skill. "I 
borrow the Duke of Newcastle's majority," he said, 
"to carry on the public business." 

There is a sharp contrast between the private 
and the public ethics of George III. Pious church- 
man though he was, he resorted to bribery in nearly 
every form to buy support for his policy. Gold, 
pensions, and places were freely used to reward his 
friends or to purchase votes in Parliament, while 
those who voted contrary to his wishes were pun- 
ished by having their honors, offices, or emoluments 
taken away. According to Horace Walpole, Lord 
Bute's unpopular preliminaries of peace were carried 
in 1762 by deliberate bribery. Through Henry 
Fox, who had been intrusted with the "manage- 
ment of the house of commons," a "shop was 
publicly opened at the Pay Office, whither the 
members flocked, and received the wages of their 

1 Morley, Walpole, 127. 



venality in bank-bills, even to so low a sum as two 
hundred pounds for their votes on the treaty. 
Twenty-five thousand pounds, as Martin, Secretary 
of the Treasury, afterwards owned, were issued in 
one morning; and in a single fortnight a vast 
majority was purchased to approve the peace." 1 
The same genial writer bears testimony to the 
naive and unblushing methods of corruption prac- 
tised by Henry Fox. Under Bute he wrote a letter 
to Walpole offering to appoint the latter 's neph- 
ew, Lord Orford, to the rangership of St. James's 
and Hyde parks, saying: 1 'If he does choose 
it, I doubt not of his and his friend Boone's 
hearty assistance, and believe I shall see you, too, 
much oftener in the House of Commons. This is 
offering you a bribe, but 'tis such a one as one honest, 
good-natured man may, without offence, offer to 
another." Walpole declined the bargain, and in 
consequence for several months he was deprived of 
payments due him in the exchequer. 2 

There is no doubt that the king himself sometimes 
suggested such disgraceful traffic. On October 16, 
1779, he wrote to Lord North, "If the D. of Nor- 
thumberland requires some gold pills for the elec- 
tion, it would be wrong not to give him some assist- 
ance." To the same minister on March 1, 1781, he 
wrote : " Mr. Robinson . . . sent me the list of speakers 
' last night, and the very good majority. I have 

1 Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, I., 127, 128; Walpole, 
Memoirs of George III., 1., 157. 2 Ibid., I., 1 68-1 71. 


this morning sent him 6,oooZ to be placed to the 
same purpose as the sum transmitted on the 21st 
of August/' 1 His corrupt use of secret pensions 
became a shameful abuse. "A bribe," declared 
Lord Halifax, "is given for a particular job; a 
pension is a constant, continual bribe. The jobbers 
are only a sort of day-labourers : but pensioners are 
domestic servants, hired to go through all the 
dirty business of the House." 2 Thus, early in the 
reign, " Rose Fuller — who had been a staunch whig 
— was bought off by a secret pension of 500/. The 
cause of his apostasy was not discovered till after 
his death." 3 Furthermore, there were various indi- 
rect means of corruption. Lotteries, contracts, and 
loans were thus freely employed in the purchase of 
influence or votes. In 1763 Bute contracted a 
loan for £3,500,000, at an extravagant rate of in- 
terest, and distributed the shares among his friends. 
The scrip at once rose to a premium of eleven per 
cent. In this instance the wholesale bribery of 
members of Parliament cost the country £385,000; 
while in 1781, through Lord North's iniquitous loan 
of £12,000,000, the people lost in excessive interest 
£900,000, one-half of which found its way into the 
pockets of members of the House of Commons. 4 

1 Donne, Correspondence of George III., II., 286, 362. 

2 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XL, 522. 

3 May, Const. Hist, of Eng, I., 296. 

A Ibid., 304, 305; Adolphus, Hist, of Eng., I., 111* Cobbett- 
Hansard, Pari. Hist., XV., 1305; XXI., 1334-1386; Wraxall,iW>- 
moirs, II., 90, et seq.; Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 436. 




During the American Revolution and for many 
years afterwards the people of England were very 
imperfectly represented in the House of Commons. 
That body consisted of 558 members: 45 from 
Scotland and 513 from England and Wales. Of 
this last number, 417 were borough members, 92 
county members, and 4 were members chosen by 
the universities. The existing system of " virtual" 
representation left out of account the great mass of 
the population There had never been any attempt 
systematically to apportion representation according 
to population or wealth. In theory each member 
of the Commons represented all parts of the king- 
dom, even of the empire. The franchise was re- 
stricted in various ways. In the counties only 
forty - shilling freeholders could vote, and many 
of these were controlled absolutely by the influence 
of the great landholders. The state of the borough 
representation was much worse. This is 1 'the 
rotten part of our Constitution," said Lord Chatham 
in 1766. By common law the franchise was vested 
in the resident householders ; but in practice for ages 
monstrous irregularities had been sanctioned. In 
a few places the franchise still belonged to the rate- 
payers, those paying "scot and lot" ; in some towns 
it was vested only in those holding lands by burgage 
tenure ; in several it was enjoyed only by those upon 
whom corporate powers had been conferred by royal 
charter; while in many "these different rights were 
combined, or qualified by exceptional conditions." 


As a result, in many towns a few persons monop- 
olized the franchise. "At Buckingham, and at 
Bewdley, the right of election was confined to the 
bailiff and twelve burgesses ; at Bath, to the mayor, 
ten aldermen, and twenty-four common-councillors ; 
at Salisbury, to the mayor and corporation, consist- 
ing of fifty-six persons." Where "more popular 
rights of election were acknowledged, there were 
often very few inhabitants to exercise them. Gatton 
enjoyed a liberal franchise. All freeholders and in- 
habitants paying scot and lot were entitled to vote, 
but they only amounted to seven. At Tavistock, 
all freeholders rejoiced in the franchise, but there 
were only ten. At St. Michael, all inhabitants pay- 
ing scot and lot were electors, but there were only 
seven." 1 

The right of selecting places for the privilege of 
being parliamentary boroughs formerly belonged to 
the crown. As a rule, the honor was conferred upon 
the more important towns — those best able to grant 
aids for the king's service. In early days, accord- 
ing to Glanville, places were capriciously selected, 
even by the sheriff; and sometimes, notably un- 
der the Tudors, political reasons determined the 
choice. Moreover, no new parliamentary borough 
had been created since the Restoration. The result 
was remarkable. While flourishing cities like Bir- 
mingham, Liverpool, Leeds, or Manchester had no 
representation at all, small towns like Ludgershall 

1 May, Const. Hist, of Eng., I., 266. 




or Old Sarum, with scarcely any inhabitants, con- 
tinued to return one or two members to Parliament. 
Such places were known as " nomination, " " pocket," 
or "rotten" boroughs, and their representation was 
often bought and sold in the market. Some of 
these places had regular "brokers" who offered 
them to the highest bidder. 1 Sudbury publicly 
advertised itself for sale. In this way a great lord 
might actually send a number of members to the 
House of Commons. Thus the "Duke of Norfolk 
was represented by eleven members ; Lord Lonsdale 
by nine; Lord Darlington by seven; the Duke of 
Rutland, the Marquess of Buckingham, and Lord 
Carrington, each by six. Seats w r ere held, in both 
houses alike, by hereditary right." 2 According to 
Oldfield, "no less than two hundred and eighteen 
members were returned for counties and boroughs, 
in England and Wales, by the nomination or in- 
fluence of eighty -seven peers; one hundred and 
thirty-seven were returned by ninety commoners, 
and sixteen by the government; making a total 
number of three hundred and seventy-one nominee 
members," or more than half the entire representa- 
tion of the House of Commons. 8 

The condition of things in Scotland was even 
worse. In the entire kingdom there were not three 

1 Walpole, Memoirs of George III., III., 112. 
* May, Const. Hist, of Eng., I., 267. 

9 Ibid., 2 88, summarizing Oldfield, Representative History, 
VI., 285-309. 


thousand voters; while even in 1831 the first two 
cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, had each a "con- 
stituency of thirty -three persons." 1 Moreover, 
through the skilful use of patronage, the whole 
representation was controlled by the government. 

Shocking as was the state of representation, it 
must be confessed that at the beginning of George 
III.'s reign no class of excluded persons clearly de- 
manded the franchise. There were, indeed, signs 
that the wealthier and more intelligent among 
the unrepresented, particularly in the manufactur- 
ing and commercial centres, were growing weary 
of the corruption and selfishness of the ruling 
oligarchy, and were beginning to desire a voice in 
the government which they were called upon to 
support; but the ignorant, sodden masses were in- 
different and inert. Public opinion as an organized 
institution was just arising. The press, its organ, 
was feeble and its freedom was abridged. There 
was no adequate popular discussion of public ques- 
tions. The age of great petitions and monster 
mass-meetings was not yet. 

Still, public opinion was already forming, and 
occasionally the voice of the people made itself 
heard. It exacted the unjust execution of Admiral 
Byng in 1757; it carried Pitt into the cabinet, 
and it sustained his war policy. It condemned the 
peace of Paris in 1763, and drove Bute from office. 

1 Hansard, Pari Debates, 2d series, IX., 614, 615; 3d series, 
VII., 530. 




The demands of the merchants were a powerful 
factor in securing the repeal of the Stamp Act and 
the Townshend revenue law. Public opinion sup- 
ported John Wilkes in the long struggle (1763-17 74), 
in which he maintained the liberty of persons 
against the abuse of general warrants, and de- 
fended the rights of constituents against the 
tyranny of the House of Commons. In at least 
seventeen counties public meetings were held in 
1770 to support the electors of Middlesex, who 
thrice returned Wilkes to the Commons after his 
expulsion. 1 Popular sentiment likewise encour- 
aged that statesman-like demagogue in the contest 
(1771) in which he won the liberty of reporting the 
debates of Parliament. Before the Revolutionary 
War the press, thus in part set free, had gained a 
position of real power such as hitherto it had never 
enjoyed. Near its close the wider use of public 
meetings, already noted, began to spread. In 1779- 
1780 the " freeholders of Yorkshire and twenty- 
three other counties, and the inhabitants of many 
cities, were assembled by their sheriffs and chief 
magistrates to discuss economical and parliamentary 
reform." 2 

In theory the more important rights and liberties 
of persons were safeguarded by Magna Chart a, the 
Bill of Rights, and the other great statutes. These 
were generally regarded as "constitutional" or 

1 Annual Register, 1770, p. 58. 

2 May, Const. Hist, of Eng., XI., 126. 


organic laws which Parliament could not repeal 
without violating the most profound sentiment of 
the nation. It was becoming more and more com- 
mon to speak of the ''British constitution" as an 
entity beyond the reach of parliamentary inter- 

Yet the liberty of the subject was very far from 
being complete. Nonconformists and Roman Catho- 
lics still suffered under the harsh penal code of the 
seventeenth century, and could not even marry 
according to their own religious forms. By the 
intolerant Hardwicke act (1753) Catholics and 
dissenters alike — save only Jews and Quakers — 
against their consciences were forced to have their 
marriages solemnized before a minister of the es- 
tablished church and according to its rites. Until 
1778 a Catholic priest was liable to perpetual im- 
prisonment for conducting the worship of his church ; 
a Catholic could not acquire land by purchase; 
and his child, if educated abroad, forfeited his in- 
heritance to the next Protestant heir. The in- 
famous Corporation and Test acts were in force 
until 1828; and until 1829 Catholics were excluded 
from both houses of Parliament. 

Furthermore, while the weak, dependent, and 
helpless classes were treated by society with in- 
difference or cruel oppression, they were exposed to 
the vagaries of an absurdly inconsistent and savage 
criminal code. Life was held cheaper than prop- 
erty. There were more than one hundred and 


sixty capital offences, sixty-three being added to 
the code during the first fifty years of George III. 
Until 1808 picking a pocket for any sum greater 
than twelvepence was punishable by death. "On 
the other hand, it was not a capital offence for a 
man to attempt the life of his father; to commit 
premeditated perjury, even when the result was 
the execution of an innocent man"; or "to burn 
a house in which the incendiary had a lease, even 
though it was so situated as to endanger the lives 
of hundreds." 1 Until 1836, the rule which de- 
prived a person accused of any capital crime ex- 
cept treason of the aid of counsel in his defence 
had been but slightly relaxed. By permission of 
the court, "in trials for felony a counsel now usu- 
ally stood beside the prisoner, instructed him what 
questions to ask, and even himself cross-examined 
the witnesses, though he might not address the 
judge or jury unless a legal question had arisen." 2 
The condition of the prisons, as disclosed by 
Howard's researches, was horrible beyond belief. 
The highwayman was almost an English institution. 
An immense number of criminals were executed, 
always in public, and usually the executions were 
exhibitions of sanguinary cruelty. Sometimes men 
and women were done to death in "batches." The 
records of the Old Bailey for the twenty-three years 

, Lecky, England, VI., 247. 

2 Ibid., 252; Blackstone, Commentaries IV., 27; Stephen, 
Criminal Law, I., 424. 


between 1749 and 1772 show that one thousand one 
hundred and twenty-one persons were condemned 
to death; and the number of victims would have 
been much larger had the law been rigidly enforced. 
The brutalizing spectacle of the Tyburn processions 
was kept up until 1783; convicts were hanged in 
chains until 1834. So bloody and inconsistent was 
the criminal code that jurors refused to convict for 
the offence charged, preferring to perjure themselves 
in face of the clearest evidence of guilt ; while humane 
persons, for like motives, hesitated to bring offenders 
to account. In fact, the administration of the crim- 
inal law in England had become almost as much 
demoralized as in France under Louis XV. 

Practically, slavery did not exist in the British 
isles, although before the decision of Lord Mansfield 
in the Somerset case (1772) slaves might be landed 
and retained by their owners on English soil. On 
the other hand, slavery was allowed to flourish in 
the colonies. On moral or humane grounds there 
was no public sentiment hostile to the institution. 
A few enlightened persons like Granville Sharpe, 
Thomas Clarkson or William Wilberforce might 
raise their voices against the evil, but the public 
conscience was not yet stirred. 

On the contrary, the slave-trade was zealously 
fostered as a legitimate and lucrative industry. 
Since the seventeenth century its encouragement 
had become a cardinal principle of imperial policy; 
and the restrictive legislation of the colonies was 



frowned upon as an interference with the rights 
of British commerce. Until 1698 the traffic was 
carried on by chartered companies. In that year 
by act of Parliament it was thrown open to private 
traders. 1 It became " highly beneficial and advan- 
tageous to this kingdom, and to the plantations 
and colonies thereunto belonging." A new impulse 
was given to the business by the treaty of 17 13, 
which secured to England a monopoly of the trade 
with the Spanish colonies, and gave the kings of 
England and Spain each one-fourth of the profits. 
Even so progressive a statesman as the elder Pitt 
made the encouragement of the slave-trade a " main 
object of his policy." 2 

In England Bristol, London, and especially 
Liverpool were foremost in the traffic; while their 
most active rivals were the great New England 
towns. The business was exceedingly profitable, 
and it was conducted on an enormous scale. Be- 
tween 1733 and 1766 — besides the large number 
imported by the colonists — about twenty thousand 
negroes annually were brought into the continental 
provinces of North America by English traders. In 
the West Indies, relatively, the number was even 
greater. For instance, during the three years pre- 
ceding 1762 the little island of Guadeloupe im- 
ported nearly 40,000 blacks; 3 and between 1752 and 

1 9 and 10 William and Mary, chap. xxvi. 

2 Lecky, England, I., 547. Cf. Du Bois, Slave-Trade, 1-6. 
8 Grenville Papers , II., 13. 


1762 not less than 71,115 were brought into Jamaica. 1 
Moreover, the traffic — though attended by the most 
atrocious cruelty — was not prohibited in the colonies 
until 1807; and only in 1833 was slavery finally 
abolished throughout the British realm. 

The picture of imperial growth seemed very bright. 
The withdrawal of France left Great Britain virt- 
ually mistress of the North American continent ; at 
Plassey, in 1757, Clive laid the solid foundation of 
her East Indian sway; while in the Pacific and 
Indian oceans Captain Cook was about to claim a 
vast island empire in her name. In 1768 he raised 
the British flag on the shores of New Zealand and 
New South Wales; and in two later voyages he 
gained other new lands for his country in the 
southern seas. A period of expansion through con- 
quest was thus followed (i768-i8i5)byan era of ex- 
pansion through exploration and discovery scarcely 
second in importance to that of Elizabeth's reign. 

The theory of the empire finds its clearest ex- 
pression in the old colonial system, which presently 
will be examined. A broad distinction was made 
between the mother-country and the outside terri- 
tories. The imperial government rested on the 
assumption that the colonies and dependencies ex- 
isted primarily for the good of the parent state. 
They were to be made a source of England's political 
and military power, even at a considerable cost to 
themselves. In return they should have the pro- 

1 Macpherson, Annals, III., 403. 

1 7 68] 



tection of the British flag, and be exempt from 
contributing directly to the imperial revenues. It 
" seemed fair to subordinate the economic interests 
of the colonies to the interests of the mother-coun- 
try, so that they might help to increase the fund 
of wealth from which the expenses of the common 
defence were defrayed." 1 

Accordingly, the imperial government was exer- 
cised solely from England, and the administrative 
authority was vested mainly in the crown. The 
crown was the source of all land titles and of all 
charters, commercial or governmental. To the 
king belonged the prerogative of revising the acts 
of the colonial assemblies; and all the higher ap- 
pointments in the civil or military service were 
made in his name. On the other hand, general 
legislative authority in the empire belonged to 
Parliament. So far as applicable, all English statutes 
in force at the time of the first colonization were 
commonly held to be valid in the colonies, and all 
new statutes were binding if the colonies were 
specially mentioned therein. Moreover, the colonist 
enjoyed the full advantages of the common law 
wherever courts competent for its administration 
were created. Yet Parliament had relatively a 
small share in the direct government of the empire ; 
and this was in part due to the jealousy of the crown, 
which sometimes, as in the case of ecclesiastical 
matters, resented its interference. 

1 Cunningham, English Industrial History, 133. 


During the century preceding the accession of 
George III the colonists had generally accepted 
the imperial theory without serious protest, and 
exhibited a steadfast loyalty to Great Britain. 
They had yielded to the king's prerogative, accept- 
ed his protection when granted, and freely admit- 
ted the right of Parliament to regulate their trade 
and manufactures. They had prospered amazingly. 
Under the stimulus of local self-government they 
had become the freest people in the world, and 
therefore the most sensitive to the encroachments 
of the central power. Of a truth, in the quality of 
their civilization they had in some vital respects 
far outstripped the mother-country. In political 
ideals the contrast between Great Britain and her 
colonies was very great. Unquestionably in the finer 
sense the political education of the American peo- 
ple was far superior to that of their brethren in the 
old home. The standard of political morality was 
much higher. In place of the moral torpor which 
prevailed in England and Scotland, there had been 
developed in the colonies an extreme sensitiveness in 
regard to personal and constitutional rights. Through 
active participation in the town-meeting, the county 
court, and the assembly, a fierce spirit of liberty 
had been fostered which could not be subdued 
through appeal to worn-out precedents born of 
lower ideals. 

The contrast in the ideals of private ethics was 
not less striking. The moral tone of " high " society 




in England was unspeakably coarse and vulgar. 
Some of the foremost statesmen of the age were 
steeped to the core in vice. Gambling, drinking, and 
raking were patrician recreations. Henry Fox de- 
liberately encouraged his son Charles in a career of 
vice. Debauchery and prodigality were venial sins. 
"The Duke of Grafton, in 1768, was in the very 
depths of a scandal of which Junius took care that 
all the world should be cognizant ; and in the course 
of that very year his Grace was unanimously chosen 
Chancellor for the University of Cambridge." Lord 
Sandwich, a violent enemy of the Americans, had 
shared with Wilkes in the foul revels of Medmenham 
Abbey; yet "he had already run a dead heat for 
the High Stewardship of the same educational body. 
The University was saved from the ineffaceable 
disgrace which would have attended his success by 
the votes of the country clergy," who favored Lord 
Hardwicke in his stead. 1 

On the other hand, observing foreigners were 
struck with the simplicity, virtue, and hospitality 
of American life. Compared with the orgies of the 
fine gentlemen of London, the excesses even of 
the Virginian cavaliers were but innocent gayety. 
There was little in common between the lives of 
such men and the stern morality of John or Samuel 
Adams; while the moral ideals of George III., pre- 
scribing gold pills for the Duke of Northumber- 
land, compared with the stainless honor and lofty 

1 Trevelyan, American Revolution, I.,64, 65. 
vol. vm.— 5 


dignity of George Washington — risking all for his 
country without pecuniary reward — present a con- 
trast of profound meaning for him who would grasp 
one of the determining conditions of the American 
Revolution. 1 

1 See especially, Trevelyan, American Revolution, I., 28-99. 




THE primary cause of the American Revolution 
must be sought in the character of the old 
colonial system, which was based on political and 
economic theories generally accepted as valid in 
the seventeenth century, but which, nevertheless, 
were the fruit of ignorance and inexperience. 
Politically, colonies were then looked upon as " de- 
pendencies," not as integral and fully privileged 
members of the growing parent state. Economi- 
cally, they were ''possessions," subject to exploita- 
tion for the benefit of the people who remained at 
home. These doctrines found partial expression 
in two ways: politically in the subjection of the 
colonies to "prerogative"; economically in their 
subjection to the "laws of navigation and trade." 
In both ways the Englishman who became a colonist 
sank somewhat in the social scale. The enterpris- 
ing men and women who bravely faced the perils 
and hardships of the savage wilderness, thereby 
extending the prestige and wealth of the British 
nation, were not intentionally rewarded therefor by 



new political and economic privileges. On the 
contrary they were looked upon as having ex- 
patriated themselves, as having yielded some part 
of the constitutional and legal rights which they 
already possessed. If this seems strange to us now, 
it must not be forgotten that our vision has been 
sharpened by nearly a century and a half of ex- 
perience. It is very enlightening to reflect that the 
present wise colonial policy of Great Britain was 
adopted only after the bitter discipline of the 
American war. Furthermore, even now the " pro- 
vincial' ' does not entirely escape the social con- 
descension of his insular kinsman. 1 

Of a truth, to determine what ought to be the 
relation of colonies to the mother-country was not 
at all an easy problem for the men of the seventeenth 
century. Practically, the choice seemed to lie be- 
tween allowing them to set up for themselves as 
independent communities, after the manner of the 
daughter colonies of Hellenic cities, or of keeping 
them in a state of at least partial subordination, 
following the custom of other European states. 
To turn them adrift to shift for themselves would 
have seemed heartless and unjust to the colonists 
themselves; to recognize them as integral parts of 
the expanding nation, with the same status, the 

*For the theories and practice of the colonial system in 
the seventeenth century, see Andrews, Colonial Self -Govern- 
ment {Am. Nation, V.), chap, i.; in the early eighteenth 
century, Greene, Provincial America {Am. Nation, VI.), chaps, 




same rights and duties as before migration, ap- 
peared impractical on account of the distance — 
always a puzzling factor in the problem — while 
to place them in a position of virtual autonomy, 
under the merely nominal sovereignty of England, 
perhaps to be a heavy burden upon the exchequer 
rather than a source of revenue, though according 
to modern ideas, would have been deemed a course 
devoid of common-sense by a generation under the 
full sway of the mercantile dogma. 

The result was an ill-defined policy, confusedly 
blending two utterly antagonistic principles formed 
under the influence of Spain, whose experience 
reached back a hundred years before the first col- 
onies of England were planted. In "the first set- 
tlement of America the conception of a Spanish 
colony as an extension of Spain was mixed up 
with a different conception of it as a possession be- 
longing to Spain." 1 But if unconsciously England 
accepted the Spanish theory, she did not thoroughly 
imitate the Spanish practice. Politically and eco- 
nomically her colonies enjoyed far more liberty than 
did those either of Spain, France, or Holland. 
"On some points," admits Leroy-Beaulieu, "Eng- 
land showed a liberalism unusual at that epoch." 2 

By the right of discovery, according to legal 
theory, 3 the title to England's American territories 

1 Seeley, Expansion of England, 62.^ 

3 Leroy-Beaulieu, Histoire de la Colonisation (4th ed., 1891), 
119. 8 Peters, in U. 5. Statutes at Large, VII., 1-11. 


belonged to the crown. From the crown, therefore, 
the colonists derived their charters and patents. 
They and their lands were spoken of indiscriminate- 
ly as the crown's "possessions." They were placed 
in subjection to the "prerogative," that undefined 
"sovereign authority" against which already in 
1628 Sir Edward Coke had protested; 1 to an au- 
thority, that is to say, which for Englishmen at 
home became more and more clearly recognized as 
"unconstitutional" with each step forward in the 
march of parliamentary liberty. All this was un- 
fortunate ; but it was not thought of as despotic by 
the people of that age. To them it seemed just that 
as possessions the colonies should be made fruitful 
to their owner. Economic equality, they fancied, 
might make the colonies a damage rather than a 
benefit to the mother-country. Such a policy would 
now be condemned as selfish and short-sighted. In 
the end it proved harmful to the colonies. Yet 
before the advent of the Physiocrats and Adam 
Smith, it was sanctioned by the best economic 
thought of Europe. Clearly the faults of the old 
restrictive system were due to "unconscious igno- 
rance " and not to "conscious malice." 2 

Aside from the measures providing for its ad- 
ministration, the restrictive colonial system finds ex- 
pression in three series of laws : ( 1 ) the acts of navi- 
gation, strictly so-called, intended to protect Eng- 

1 Creasy, English Constitution (15th ed.), 287. 

2 Cf. Beer, Commercial Policy, 9. 


lish shipping against foreign competitors; (2) acts of 
trade, designed to secure to the English merchants a 
monopoly of colonial commerce; and (3) acts giving 
to English manufacturers a monopoly of the colonial 
market. The first two subjects, navigation and 
trade, are sometimes dealt with in distinct parts of 
the statute, as in that of 1660. In its motive the 
whole "restrictive system" was class legislation 
pure and simple, of which the English merchant 
and the English manufacturer were the beneficiaries. 
In their interest the system aimed to control the 
imports of the colonies from abroad ; their exports to 
other countries ; their traffic with each other ; their 
carrying trade ; and their manufactures. Indirectly, 
of course, the English people remaining at home 
might profit by the monopoly ; but the gains were 
unequally distributed. 

At the Revolution the three basic statutes of the 
seventeenth century were still in force. By the act 
of 1660, 1 (1) the importation of goods from any part 
of Asia, Africa, or America, whether British or 
foreign, is confined to English or colonial ships 
whereof the masters and at least three-fourths of 
the mariners must be English. (2) No commodities 
of foreign growth, production, or manufacture may 
be brought into England, Ireland, Wales, Guernsey, 
Jersey, or Berwick, in such English (or colonial) 
owned and built vessels, unless they come directly 

1 12 Charles II., chap, xviii.; also summarized in Andrews, 
Colonial Self-Government {Am. Nation, V.), chap, i, 


from the producing country or from the ports 
whence they are usually laden for transportation. 
(3) Foreign carriers are absolutely excluded from the 
colonial market whether shipping their own prod- 
ucts or not. " Noe Goods or Commodities what- 
soever," the act declares, "shall be Imported into or 
Exported out of" his majesty's possessions in Asia, 
Africa, or America except in English ships or ships 
built and owned in the plantations, "whereof the 
Master and three fourthes of the Marriners at least 
are English." (4) The coasting-trade is closed to 
foreigners, and no alien is permitted to be a factor or 
merchant in the colonies. (5) Furthermore, certain 
products are named in the act, later added to from 
time to time, and known as "enumerated articles," 
which may not be carried from the colonies, even in 
English ships, to any place other than to such Eng- 
lish plantations or to England or Ireland. These 
articles are sugar, tobacco, cotton-wool, indigo, 
ginger, fustic, and other dyeing woods. "This af- 
fected the English sugar islands of the West Indies 
and the southern colonies, which were obliged to 
send their products to the overstocked English or 
colonial markets, more than it affected New Eng- 
land, whose great staples, lumber, fish, oil, ashes, 
and furs, were free to find their best market, pro- 
vided only they were sent in English or colonial 
ships." 1 Naval stores were not as yet included. 
This act, therefore, though by no means generous 

1 Chamberlain, in Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., VI., 7, 8. 


in its motive, is not intolerable. The colonists 
share equally with Englishmen at home in the 
rich monopolies of ship-building and the carrying 
trade. According to an elaborate tariff of 1660, dis- 
criminating against aliens, they may import all 
foreign goods, and, with the exception of the 
enumerated articles, export their own products to 
foreign countries, paying thereon the same import 
or export duty as when shipped to or from England 
by subjects of the crown residing in Great Britain. 1 
On the other hand, they have lost the benefit of 
competition: foreigners are no longer permitted 
to carry their own products to plantation ports. 
For a time at least Virginians felt it a grievance that 
they could no longer export their tobacco in Dutch 
ships; just as in England the cost of freight on 
European imports was raised. 2 Throughout the act 
colonial ships and colonial seamen are recognized 
as "English," a statute of 1662 clearing up any 
doubt which may have existed on that point. 3 
Scotchmen, however, were not included until after 
the union in 1707; and "Ireland" seems to have 
been put in the law by mistake. Hence, in 1670, 
the shipment of enumerated goods from the colonies 
directly to Ireland was forbidden; and between 
1696 and 1 73 1 even non-enumerated articles could 
not be sent to that country except by way of 

1 12 Charles II., chap. iv. 3 Cf. Ashley, Surveys, 31 1-3 13. 
3 13 and 14 Charles II., chap, xi., § 6; Channing, Navigation 
Laws, 9. 


England. Likewise, the navigation laws prohibited 
the direct exportation of goods from Ireland to the 
colonies, although in 1704 an exception was made 
in the case of linen. 1 

The enumeration of colonial products was prompt- 
ed by a dual motive. The English merchant would 
thus gain a monopoly in the distribution of these 
goods, and the English manufacturer would secure 
a monopoly in the colonial supply of raw materials. 
Yet neither the merchant nor the manufacturer was 
satisfied with his advantage under the act of 1660. 
If now, after the model of the mediaeval "staple" 
towns, England were made the sole place for supply- 
ing the plantations with European goods, a still 
richer middleman's profit would be put within the 
merchant's grasp, and the manufacturer would find 
a greater demand from the colonists for his finished 
product in exchange for their raw materials. 

Such is the aim of the "second" navigation act 
passed in 1663. 2 The preamble significantly de- 
scribes the people of his majesty's colonies as V Sub- 
jects of this His Kingdome of England"; and 
naively announces that the law is designed for 
"maintaining a greater correspondence and kind- 
nesse betweene them and keepeing them in a 
firmer dependance upon" that kingdom "and ren- 

1 22 and 23 Charles II., chap, xxvi., §§ 10, 11; 3 and 4 Anne, 
chap. viii. Cf. 3 George I., chap, vii., § 29; and chap, xxi., § 2; 
Beer, Commercial Policy, 40; Channing, Navigation Laws, 12. 

2 15 Charles II., chap. vii. 


dring them yet more beneficiall and advantagious 
unto it," by making England the " Staple not onely 
of the Commodities of those Plantations but alsoe 
of the Commodities of other Countryes and Places 
for the support of them." Accordingly, with the 
exception of salt for the fisheries of New England 
and Newfoundland, wines of the Western Islands, or 
Azores, servants, horses, and victuals from Ireland 
and Scotland, the direct import trade of the colo- 
nies in European goods is entirely cut off ; while, as 
before, the export trade to all foreign countries is 
forbidden in the enumerated articles again men- 
tioned in the statute. Other goods the colonist 
might, indeed, carry directly to Europe; but his 
vessel must then return empty unless he was 
willing to transship his cargo by way of an English 

Some advantages accrued to the colonists in case 
of such a re-exportation — a part or the whole of 
the duty was usually returned. Indeed, the people 
of England complained that Americans could get 
certain goods, such as German or Dutch linens, 
cheaper than they themselves could obtain them. 
Furthermore, it is strongly urged by Ashley, ac- 
cepting the view of Brougham, that England was 
the natural entrepot for the exchange of colonial and 
European products, so that the restrictions on the 
direct trade imposed by the acts of 1660 and 1663 
were not really a hardship. In the case of tobacco 
transshipped to Europe, he admits that the cost 


of freight may have been increased, though if so it 
would be " borne to some extent by the continental 
consumer." 1 It seems to follow from this argu- 
ment that the colonial consumer would have to pay 
the extra cost of freight on goods transshipped to 
him from Europe. 

The intercolonial trade still remained free. To 
appropriate a part of the benefits of this was the 
next step in the development of the restrictive 
system. The law regarding the enumerated com- 
modities had been evaded. As early as 1662 it 
appears that tobacco was being delivered to Dutch 
vessels at sea, shipped directly to the Dutch planta- 
tions, or carried to New England and thence re- 
exported in Dutch ships to Europe. "Moreover 
the products sent through England had paid duties, 
and the illegal trader was thus enabled to under- 
sell the English merchant in the European markets." 2 
In admirable harmony with the spirit of the old 
colonial policy, the entire people of the plantations, 
guilty and innocent alike, were now to be pun- 
ished for this offence. By the act of 1672, creating 
the famous "acute triangle" of trade, 3 the whole 
traffic in the enumerated articles between one 
plantation and another — whether the goods were 
intended for home consumption or not — is sub- 

1 Ashley, Surveys, 317, et seq. Cf. Brougham, Inquiry into the 
Colonial Policy, 246. 

'Beer, Commercial Policy, 39; N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., 
III., 44. s 25 Charles II., chap. vii. 



jected to a penalty. The trader, for instance, who 
will carry sugar from Jamaica to New England, or 
tobacco from Virginia to New York, must either 
render tribute at the place of shipment according 
to a tariff prescribed in the statute, or else give 
bond to unlade his cargo in an English port, there 
paying the usual duty before proceeding to his 
colonial destination. On some articles the duties 
were heavy — tobacco, for instance, paying one penny 
a pound and white sugar five shillings the hundred- 
weight. In other cases the charges seem to have 
been designed only to secure a record of the clear- 
ance, entrance, or destination of cargoes; and as a 
matter of fact the colonists did not very seriously 
object to them. 

It is, perhaps, not surprising that the restraint of 
American manufactures should be the next step 
in the expansion of the system. Before consider- 
ing this, however, the enumerated articles demand 
further attention. The history of these commod- 
ities is very enlightening as to the effects of the 
mercantile theory. 1 According to that doctrine a 
monopoly of the colonial exports of raw materials 
would prove beneficial by encouraging English 
manufactures. The balance of trade would thus 
be secured, and the precious metals would come 
into the kingdom. " If England imported the raw 
materials from the colonies she could pay for the 
same in manufactures; the precious metals would 

1 See especially, Beer, Commercial Policy^ 43-65, 91-106. 


not be drained from England, but might even flow 
thither from the colonies. The question whether 
the balance of trade was unfavorable to both Eng- 
land and the colonies, regarded as a unit, affected 
the economists and statesmen but little. What they 
sought was a favorable balance for England alone." 1 
New articles, therefore, were enumerated from 
time to time. Thus in 1705 rice and molasses 
were put upon the list. The war of the Spanish 
Succession was then at hand. Accordingly naval 
stores were enumerated and bounties offered for 
their production. Copper and furs came next in 
1722. Tobacco "formed one-half of all the colonial 
exports." 2 The enumeration with the excessive 
import duties did not in the end prove a serious in- 
jury to Virginia. There were compensations. The 
growth of tobacco in England — which at one time 
promised to become important — was prohibited; a 
much higher duty was laid upon the Spanish and 
Portuguese product; while the greater part of the 
charge on that of Virginia was returned on re-ex- 
portation, "between two-thirds and four-fifths" of 
the entire crop being thus carried to other countries. 
Nevertheless, the price fell — partly on account of 
over-production — and in 1733 the planters protested 
against the rate. 3 

1 Beer, Commercial Policy, 43. 

2 3 and 4 Anne, chap, v., § 12, chap, x., § 8; 8 George I., chap. 

xviii., § 22, chap, xv., § 24; Ashley, Surveys, 316. 

3 Ashley, Surveys, 316-319; Beer, Commercial Policy, 50, 51, 
citing The Case of the Planters of Tobacco. 



The first effect of the enumeration of rice, the 
staple product of South Carolina, was to deprive 
that colony of her monopoly of the Portuguese 
market. Consequently the law was relaxed. In 
1730 South Carolina and in 1735 Georgia were 
allowed to send rice directly to any port south of 
Cape Finisterre, provided it was exported in ships 
built or owned in Great Britain. For in this in- 
stance, apparently, the colonists were excluded from 
a share in the profits of carrying their own goods. 
" Immediately American rice regained control of its 
former market." 1 The enumeration of furs in 1722, 
though accompanied by a heavy reduction in the 
import duty, did not increase the supply for the 
English market. The trade was already passing 
rapidly into French hands ; and " neither restriction 
nor favor" had much effect upon a business " bound 
speedily to disappear." 2 The placing of sugar and 
molasses on the list did not directly affect the con- 
tinental colonies. It gave occasion, however, for 
the Molasses Act of 1733, which will be again re- 
ferred to. 

Equally instructive is the history of the bounty 
system. By the statute of 1705, already men- 
tioned, renewed and supplemented by later acts, 
liberal premiums were granted on colonial masts, 
hemp, tar, pitch, and allied products sent to Eng- 

1 3 George I., chap. xxviii.,§ 2; 8 George II., chap, xix.; Beer, 
Commercial Policy, 53. 

2 Ashley, Surveys, 315,316; Beer, Commercial Policy, 57-62. 


land; while in 172 1 hemp and in 1722 all kinds 
of lumber were freed from English import duties. 1 
A monopoly of these products, which the plantations 
might thus be stimulated to produce, would, it was 
hoped, create a steady market for English manu- 
factures. To some extent the colonies were bene- 
fited by the experiment. The premium on indigo 
granted in 1748 was successful. 2 In the southern 
plantations tar and pitch were produced and ex- 
ported in considerable quantities. Between 17 14 
and 1774, it is alleged, £1,609,345 sterling were paid 
in premiums on colonial goods carried to British 
ports. 3 

Yet in the main the bounty system was a failure. 
For their staple products — their fish, lumber, and 
ship-timber — the northern plantations found their 
best market in Spain, Portugal, and the West 
Indies. The bounty system proved to be a vain 
effort to draw them from this lucrative commerce 
into new industries for the sake of the mother- 
country. Moreover, the disputes arising with the 
navy board touching claims for bounty, and with 
the king's officers regarding the execution of the 
laws for the protection of the forests, were a con- 
stant source of bad feeling. It is impossible, con- 
cludes a careful writer, "to determine to what ex- 

1 12 Anne, stat. 1., chap. ix. ; 8 George T., chap, xii.; 2 George 
II., chap, xxxv.; 16 George II., chap, xxvi.; 24 George II. f 
chap, lvii.; 31 George II., chap. xxxv. 

2 21 George II., chap, xxx., § 1 ; 28 George II.. chap, xxv., § 1. 
9 Rights of Great Britain Asserted, 87. 



tent the irritation of the New England woodsmen 
may have laid the foundation for the resentment 
which culminated in 1776"; but "so far as one 
branch of industry is concerned, the economic 
independence of New England was declared and 
maintained many years before the final rupture 
with Great Britain.' ' 1 

Various circumstances favored the early rise of 
manufactures in the colonies. Everywhere there 
was plenty of iron, and the supply of fuel for smelt- 
ing was unlimited. Wool for homespun and for a 
time beaver for hats could be found in abundance. 
The forests were filled with the best timber in the 
world for ship -building. Moreover, among the peo- 
ple were many skilled artisans from Europe, nota- 
bly from Ireland, England, and France. But there 
was another cause more potent than even these 
natural conditions. The economic policy of Parlia- 
ment had partially deprived the colonists of the 
means of importing the manufactures which they 
needed. The restrictive laws by interfering with 
the profitable foreign market had lessened the 
supply of ready money with which to" make good the 
unfavorable balance of trade with England ; besides, 
who could say when those laws might be more 
rigidly enforced. 

On the other hand, the corn laws enacted during 
the reign of Charles II. had closed the English 

1 Lord, Industrial Experiments, 56, 87, 123, passim. Cf. Beer, 
Commercial Policy, 91-106; Channing, Navigation Laws, 16-19. 

VOL. VIII. — 6 


market to the staples which the colonists might 
have exchanged for manufactured goods. In the 
interest of the land -owner, "prohibitory customs 
duties were levied on agricultural products, such as 
rye, barley, peas, beans, oats, and wheat"; 1 the 
importation of provisions, including beef, pork, 
bacon, and apparently butter and cheese, were 
prohibited; and a discriminating duty was laid on 
oil and blubber imported in colonial ships. 2 "Thus," 
concludes Beer, "New England, and later the 
middle colonies, not being allowed to exchange 
their normal products for England's manufactures, 
were forced to begin manufacturing for themselves." 3 
This unforeseen result was intolerable to the 
disciples of the mercantile theory. According to 
that theory the colonies were useful chiefly as con- 
sumers of English goods for which they were ex- 
pected to supply the raw materials. Accordingly, 
having forced American manufactures into exist- 
ence by one economic blunder, Parliament tried 
to destroy them by another. The woollen industry 
was attacked in 1699; the exportation of beaver 
hats of American production was forbidden in 1732 ; 
while in 1750 the manufacture of rolled iron and of 
steel was restrained. 4 

1 Saxby, British Customs, cited in Beer, Commercial Policy, 
74, 111-114. Cf. 'Lord, Industrial Experiments, 124-139. 

2 18 Charles II., chap, ii.; 32 Charles II., chap, ii., § 9; 25 
Charles II., chap. vii. 3 Beer, Commercial Policy, 75. 

4 10 and 11 William III., chap, x., § 19; 5 George II., chap, 
xxii.; 23 George II., chap. xxix. 




Such in character was the old restrictive system. 
Its triple monopoly of shipping, trade, and manu- 
facture had the full and hearty approval of economic 
writers. Josiah Child — whose book was written in 
1665 and first published in enlarged form in 1668 — 
frankly lays it down "that all colonies, or plantations, 
do endanger their mother-kingdoms, of which the 
trades of such plantations are not confined by severe 
laws, and good execution of those laws, to the 
mother-kingdom"; and that in particular "New- 
England is the most prejudicial plantation to the 
kingdom of England." 1 

Joshua Gee, an adviser of the board of trade, 
"who is said to have advised an American stamp 
act by parliament," produced a book in 1729 whose 
spirit is entirely in harmony with that of the colonial 
system. To make the plantations more profitable 
to Great Britain, he would "strengthen" the nav- 
igation act and imitate the policy of Spain and 
other European states in preventing "their natural 
born Subjects from going upon such Manufactures 
as doe interfere with theirs at home." 2 In rec- 
ognition of the soundness of Gee's doctrine a new 
edition of his work was brought out in 1767, just as 
the new revenue acts were being matured. John 
Ashley in 1741 pleads for a mitigation of the 
rigor of some of the laws affecting the colonies. Yet 

1 Child, New Discourse of Trade, 134, 135. 

2 Gee, Trade and Navigation, 48-53, 77. Cf. Bancroft, United 
States (ed. of 1885), II., 241. 


his point of view is the same as that of his prede- 
cessors. If he is more humane, it is because lenity 
will render the plantations — those " junior Branches " 
of the empire — more profitable to the mother- 
country. 1 But in the works cited, neither Ashley 
nor Gee, as sometimes alleged, 2 appears to have 
advised the taxing of the colonies for revenue; al- 
though, had the duty imposed been lowered as 
Ashley suggested, and the molasses act of 1733 en- 
forced, it would have become, in fact as well as in 
form, a revenue act. 3 

It may seem strange that for a century a system 
so selfish in motive and so false in principle should 
have been borne without more serious protest. The 
reasons, however, are not far to seek. The system 
as actually administered did not prevent the great 
material prosperity of the colonists; they had a 
commerce profitable to them, and they had a po- 
litical relation of great significance. On the one 
hand, from England they got capital and credit; 
under the English law their property and civil rights 
were secured; their commerce was carried on under 
the protection of the British flag; and in some 
measure they were partners of Englishmen at home 
in the very monopolies which they endured. In- 
deed, it is believed that the exclusion of foreign 

1 Ashley, Memoirs and Considerations , 13-35, passim; pt. ii. 
(London, 1743), 96 and Preface. 

'E.g., Scott, Development of Const. Liberty, 215-219. 

* Ashley, Memoirs and Considerations , pt. ii., Preface, 
where a tax for revenue is discouraged; also 42. 


competition in the carrying trade actually "stimu- 
lated ship-building and the shipping interest in the 

Furthermore, the making of England the staple 
for the exchange of colonial and European goods was 
not a great hardship ; for it is almost certain that the 
English middleman would have had the bulk of this 
trade without the aid of restrictive laws. Even 
the harsh restraint of manufactures was quietly 
accepted, because, as it turned out, investments in 
land and other enterprises were found more lucra- 
tive. 1 On the other hand, the colonists enjoyed local 
self-government and were relieved from contribut- 
ing directly to the imperial revenues. They were 
expected to aid in their own defence; but because 
they " were not a part of the realm of England " they 
were not taxed to support the army when sent 
against a foreign foe. They shared more actively 
in the functions of political life than most of them 
could have done in the old home. 

Why, then, can the old colonial system be regarded 
as the primary cause of the Revolution ? Again the 
answer is near at hand. It was wrong in principle 
and degrading in motive. Such a r6gime of political 
and economic paternalism could not long be en- 
dured by a robust and liberty-loving people dwell- 
ing three thousand miles away from the seat of 
power. In American history as elsewhere the value 
of sentiments must not be overlooked. Psychic 

1 See especially Ashley, Surveys, 317-360. 


causes are in the end more potent than material 
causes. Besides, the paternal system had always 
been the source of more or less irritation and dis- 
content. Indeed, there is something misleading in 
representing the privileges permitted by it as "com- 
pensations." Were they not rights which in fuller 
measure the colonies, more justly looked upon as 
integral parts of the British nation, ought to have 
enjoyed without paying an extra price for them? 

It must not be forgotten that in both of its aspects 
the colonial system was laxly administered. The 
prerogative was but fitfully enforced. The laws 
of trade were systematically evaded, although so 
far as the European traffic is concerned the amount 
of smuggling seems to have been less than is com- 
monly supposed. 1 The failure during a century 
to make any serious effort to execute these laws in 
effect established a prescriptive right to such in- 
dulgence which could not be denied with safety. 
The molasses act of 1733, whose execution would 
have destroyed the most lucrative trade of the 
northern colonies, was a dead letter. It remained, 
nevertheless, a social menace. Who could say at 
what moment prerogative and Parliament might 
unite in its execution, or when it might be made in 
fact a revenue law? 

This moment came at the close of the French and 
Indian War. Just as the American people were be- 
coming aware of their real strength, faintly per- 

1 Ashley, Surveys, 336-360. 


ceiving the great destiny which awaited them, the 
British ministry made the fatal resolve of rigidly 
enforcing the acts of navigation and trade and of 
depriving the colonists of those very li compensa- 
tions" which thus far had enabled them quietly to 
endure the colonial system. What would be the 
reply of the American people? 




AFTER a century and a quarter of discussion 
J \ the American Revolution is to - day clearly 
emerging as an event of first rate importance in 
social as well as political history. In that discussion 
the wrong point of view has often been taken. 
On the one hand the struggle has been looked upon 
as a war of liberation from a despotism imposed 
on the colonies as if through conscious malice; on 
the other as a needless revolt inspired mainly by a 
few hot-headed demagogues taking advantage of a 
blundering royal policy. The second error, which 
some American and many British writers have 
committed, is not less grave than the first; for the 
Revolution was indeed a movement for liberation, 
not from a consciously planned tyranny, but from 
-a regime, economic and political, which was ham- 
pering the social growth of the colonies. 

According to the usual definition, the American 
Revolution, unlike the French Revolution, is polit- 
ical and not social in character. It is not regarded 
as a struggle against class privilege. Yet in a very 



real sense the old colonial regime treated the pro- 
vincials as an inferior class. As dominions the 
colonies were in theory subjected to the rigor of 
the royal prerogative while the favored people who 
remained in England were being freed from it; as 
communities they were valued chiefly as feeders of 
British trade. A system so artificial and so humil- 
iating could not long prevail with a proud and self- 
respecting people becoming aware of their strength. 
If the American Revolution was not a conscious 
social revolution, it was at any rate a struggle for 
free social expansion. "Of all events of English 
history," declares Seeley, "it is perhaps the Amer- 
ican Revolution which has suffered most from the 
application of these wrong tests." It "is an event 
not only of greater importance, but on an altogether 
higher level of importance than almost any other 
in modern English history," for "it . . . called into 
existence a new state." 1 

The American Revolution is unique, not only for 
its significance, but also in its form and progress. 
Like the French Revolution it is dramatic. The 
action unfolds itself with epic precision: at each 
shifting of the scene the right actor takes his place. 
But no other revolution has from the start produced 
leaders so thoroughly disciplined by experience for 
its guidance: each action is explained by learned 
and skilful argument; more than twelve years are 
given up to debate before the first blow is struck. 

1 Seeley, Expansion of England, 142, 144, 147. 


No other revolution is so instructive to the student 
of political science: the entire process of state 
building goes on before his eyes, and the reason for 
each step is clearly and exhaustively expounded 
by the builders as they proceed. For enduring 
quality, the forensic and constitutional literature 
of our Revolutionary epoch is not matched in the 
entire history of political struggle. 

The speech of James Otis against the writs of 
assistance, if not the opening, was at any rate the 
prelude of the Revolutionary drama. 1 Previous to 
the close of the French war in America the acts of 
trade had brought no profit to the British treasury. 
The cost of maintaining the commercial system 
was enormous. During the sixty years between 
17 14 and 1774, on this account, including probably 
the support of the American fleet, the exchequer 
had paid out not less than £34,697,142 sterling, a 
sum greater, it is alleged, " than the estimated value 
of the whole real and personal property in the 
colonies." 2 Grenville discovered that the entire 
''revenue derived by England from the custom- 
houses in America amounted to between 1,000/. and 
2,000/. a year; that for the purpose of collecting this 
revenue the English exchequer paid annually be- 
tween 7,000/. and 8,000/.; and that the chief cus- 
tom - house officers appointed by the crown had 

1 Cf. Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 30, et seq. 

2 The Rights of Great Britain Asserted, 82; Chamberlain, "The 
Revolution Impending," in Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., VI., 6. 


treated their offices as sinecures, and by leave of the 
treasury resided habitually in England." 1 A vast 
amount of dutiable goods, both from Europe and 
the foreign West Indies, was continually being 
smuggled into the country, and the local officers 
either connived at the illicit traffic or were helpless 
to prevent it. 

From the beginning of the French war there were 
ominous signs that a more rigid execution of the 
laws was resolved upon. Governor Shirley of 
Massachusetts is believed to have been influential 
in suggesting the new policy. In particular he led 
the clamor, elsewhere referred to, for raising a 
revenue on the colonies by act of Parliament. 2 
During the war the colonial merchants, sometimes 
with French or Dutch passports or under flags of 
truce granted by the American governors, had kept 
up an active trade with the enemy in the sugar 
islands and even on the main land. At the sug- 
gestion of Halifax in 1756, and again in 1760 
through Pitt's instructions, the governors were 
commanded to put a stop to the practice. 

If this conduct of the colonial merchants was un- 
patriotic, it must be confessed that necessity af- 
forded a plausible excuse. How else were they to 
contribute their share to the support of the war 
without the money gained from the West India 

1 Lecky, England, III., 333, citing Grenville Papers, II., 114; 
see also Grenville, The Regulations Lately Made, 57. 

2 See above, chap. i. 


trade ? They were willing to tax themselves heavily 
for that purpose; but when also, suggests an English 
critic of the British policy, they "were required to 
desist absolutely from all commercial dealings with 
their best customers, their good friends, the enemy, 
the sacrifice seemed too great even for their simple 
loyalty." Indeed, the alleged purpose of "starv- 
ing" the French out of the West Indies is regarded 
by the same writer as a cause of the American 
rebellion. 1 

The machinery for the rigid administration of the 
commercial code was ample if zealously employed. 2 
In England, since 1696, the Board of Trade and 
Plantations was exercising general authority un- 
der the Privy Council. This body worked mainly 
through the governors, who in their respective 
provinces were sworn to a faithful execution of the 
laws of trade and navigation. 3 Below the governor 
were the naval officer, the collector of customs, and 
the surveyor-general, besides the collectors and the 
surveyors and searchers for each port. 4 Originally 
prosecutions for breach of the trade laws were tried 
in the ordinary colonial courts of record, but juries 
were slow to convict. Hence, in 1697, separate 

l Hall, "Chatham's Colonial Policy," in Am. Hist. Rev. t V., 

1 The best accounts are Greene, Provincial America (American 
Nation, VI.), chap, xvi.; Beer, Commercial Policy, 123. 

8 13 Charles II., chap, xriii.; supplemented by 7 and 8 William 
III., chap. xxii. 

4 Spotewood, Lett&rs, I., 29; 7 and 8 William III., chap, xxii., 

§§ 5. «• 


admiralty courts for the colonies were created and 
these could act without a jury. 1 In England rev- 
enue cases were tried, not in the courts of admiral- 
ty, but in the court of the exchequer, where juries 
were employed. 

But the most effective instrument in the pre- 
vention of illicit trade was the "writ of assistance" 
created during the reign of Charles II. 2 According 
to the late Justice Horace Gray — whose critical 
essay should be used with John Adams's report of 
Otis' s speech — this warrant for the seizure of un- 
customed goods appears to be derived from the 
ancient "writ of assistance" or "writ of aid" ad- 
dressed to the sheriff from the court of exchequer; 
and it is "perhaps copied from the sheriff's patent 
of assistance." 3 By statute the writ is issued from 
the court of exchequer. It is general in form, au- 
thorizing the official in the day-time to search 
any vaults, cellars, warehouses, or other suspected 
places where he may suppose dutiable goods to be 
hidden, while ships lying in or near the port may 
thus be entered either by day or night. It is valid 
for an indefinite time, or until six months after the 
demise of the crown, and no "return" to the court 
of issue is required. In England this warrant was 

1 Washburn, Judicial Hist, of Mass., 172; Chalmers, Revolt, I., 

2 12 Charles II., chap, xix.; confirmed by 13 Charles II., 
Stat. 1, chap, i., and later acts; supplemented by 13 and 14 
Charles II., chap, xi., § 5; and often re-enacted. 

8 Gray, Writs of Assistance, in Quincy, Reports, 395, et seq. 


then in use ; and there in practically the same form 
as under William III. it continued to be enforced 
for many years after the Revolution. Yet it is 
easy to see that so dangerous a power, especially in 
the hands of petty officials, was capable of serious 

A statute of William III. had expressly enjoined 
that the same aid should be given to the custom- 
house officers in America as was required by law 
to be rendered in England. 1 But for more than 
half a century such writs were not used in the 
colonies. According to Hutchinson, "the collectors 
and inferior officers of the customs, merely by the 
authority derived from their commissions, had 
forcibly entered warehouses, and even dwelling 
houses, upon information that contraband goods 
were concealed in them. The people grew uneasy 
under the exercise of this assumed authority, and 
some stood upon their defence against such entries, 
whilst others were bringing their actions in the law 
against the officers, for past illegal entries, or at- 
tempts to enter." 

Governor Shirley put himself for a time equally 
in the wrong: as civil magistrate he "gave out 
his warrants to enter"; but learning that such a 
course was illegal, he directed the " officers to apply 
for warrants from the superior court ; and, from that 
time, writs issued, not exactly in the form, but of 
the nature, of writs of assistance issued from the 

1 7 and 8 William III., chap. xxii.,§ 5. 


court of exchequer in England." 1 The truth of 
this statement is confirmed by the documentary- 
evidence. In June, 1755, the superior court, Chief - 
Justice Sewall presiding, issued , the first of these 
memorable writs to Charles Paxton, surveyor of the 
port of Boston. Similar authority was presently 
conferred upon other officers. 2 Many seizures were 
made. " The third part of the forfeiture of molasses 
which belonged to the province amounted before 
1 761 to nearly five hundred pounds in money." 3 
Informers were rewarded for secret information, 
and popular feeling was kept in a state of continual 

The death of George II., October 25, 1760, 
brought matters to a crisis, for in six months the 
validity of all existing writs would cease. Chief - 
Justice Stephen Sewall, who doubted the legality 
of the writs, died just after the new governor, 
Francis Bernard, arrived in Boston (August 2), 
bringing instructions to "be aiding and assisting to 
the collectors and other officers of our admiralty 
and customs in putting in execution" the laws 
of trade. George III. was proclaimed in Massa- 
chusetts December 30. On the same day Thomas 
Hutchinson, who already held the posts of council- 
lor, judge of probate, and lieutenant-governor, was 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 92, 93. 

2 Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 402, et seq. 

3 Chamberlain, "The Revolution Impending," in Winsor, 
Narr. and Crit. Hist., VI., 12. 


commissioned as chief justice of the superior court, 
and on January 27, 1761, he took his seat on the 
bench in Middlesex. 

James Otis, the elder, had been promised the first 
vacancy on the bench by both Shirley and Pownall ; 
but, according to John Adams, Hutchinson was ap- 
pointed by Bernard "for the very purpose of decid- 
ing the fate of the writs of assistance, and all other 
causes in which the claims of Great Britain might 
be implicated." 1 This statement is scarcely sus- 
tained by the evidence. Hutchinson was brought 
forward for the place by his friends; and at the 
time of his commission application for a renewal 
of the writs had not yet been made as Adams 
alleges. 2 Yet it can hardly be doubted that the 
question of their legality was already a matter of 
earnest discussion^ The petition of the Boston 
merchants for a hearing against the writs, and the 
memorial of Lechmere, the surveyor-general, to be 
heard in reply, were filed in February, 1761. On 
the 24th the case of Charles Paxton, who sought a 
new warrant, came before the superior court sitting 
under the presidency of Chief -Justice Hutchinson, in 
the council chamber of the old Town House in 
Boston. For the writs appeared the attorney- 
general, Jeremiah Gridley, and the merchants were 
represented by Oxenbridge Thacher and James Otis. 

No full report of this famous trial exists. Our 

1 Adams, Works, X., 183, 247, 280. 
* Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 409-411. 


knowledge of it is derived almost wholly from John 
Adams's notes taken at the first hearing, 1 together 
with his later and more extended report, 2 and the 
letters addressed by him to William Tudor fifty- 
seven years after the event. 3 Gridley, the foremost 
lawyer of Massachusetts, confined himself closely 
to proving the technical validity of the writs and 
the legality of their issue by the superior court, not 
touching upon the broader aspects of the case. He 
"argued," says Adams, "with his characteristic 
learning, ingenuity, and dignity," all depending, 
however, on the "if the Parliament of Great Britain 
is the sovereign legislature of all the British em- 
pire." 4 It is true, Gridley admitted, that the 
" common privileges of Englishmen are taken away 
in this case"; but it is justified by necessity — the 
"benefit of the revenue," just as necessity justifies 
the distraint of goods and chattels by a local officer 
in the recovery of taxes. 5 

Thacher followed on the other side, speaking 
"with the softness of manners, the ingenuity and 
cool reasoning, which were remarkable in his amiable 
character. But Otis was a flame of fire! with a 
promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of re- 

1 Adams, Works, II., 521-523. 

3 As given by Minot, Hist, of Mass., II., 87-99; by Tudor, 
Life of Otis, 62, et seq.; and in the copy by Israel Keith: see 
Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 479-^482. A brief minute of the No- 
vember hearing is in Quincy, 51, et seq. 

9 Adams, Works, X., Index. 4 Ibid., 247. 

6 Minot, Hist, of Mass., II., 89, 90. 

VOL. VIII. — 7 


search, a rapid summary of historical events and 
dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic 
glance of his eye into futurity, and a torrent of 
impetuous eloquence, he hurried away everything 
before him. American independence was then and 
there born ; the seeds of patriots and heroes were then 
and there sown . . . every man of a crowded audience 
appeared to go away, as I did, ready to take arms 
against writs of assistance. Then and there was 
the first scene of the first act of opposition to the 
arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there 
the child independence was born. In fifteen years, 
namely in 1776, he grew up to manhood, and 
declared himself free." 1 

The fervid rhetoric of the venerable patriot who 
in his twenty-fifth year had been inspired by his 
hero's words may be accepted with some grain of 
allowance. Yet that Otis' s speech belongs to the 
epoch-making utterances there is small reason to 
doubt. It was a strong and a timely protest against 
a dangerous system; but its power was not due 
wholly to its quality as a discourse, for Otis's style 
of speaking and writing was rugged, with small 
claim to elegance of diction. It struck a responsive 
chord in the breasts of his countrymen. He gave 
voice to that which was moving their spirits; and 
is not that often the secret of the highest eloquence ? 

Before the trial Otis had resigned his office of 
advocate-general, because he was not willing to 

1 Adams, Works, X., 247, 248. 


appear in support of the writs, which he believed 
to be illegal and tyrannical. This sacrifice his 
enemies explained as the result of pique because 
of his father's disappointment. But when has 
time-serving cynicism ever failed to sneer at the 
idealism which rebukes it or passes its ken ? Justice 
Gray has well said that the " charge commonly 
made by the supporters of prerogative against 
James Otis, that his subsequent public course was 
dictated solely by revenge . . . , may be classed with 
D'Israeli's insinuation that John Hampden's re- 
fusal to pay ship money was occasioned by an 
ancient grudge against the sheriff who levied it." 1 

In the argument, which took up several hours, 
Otis first referred to his resignation. " I renounced 
that office, and I argue this cause from the same 
principle; and I argue it with the greater pleasure, 
as it is in favor of British liberty, at a time when 
we hear the greatest monarch upon earth declaring 
from his throne that he glories in the name of Briton, 
and that the privileges of his people are dearer to 
him than the most valuable prerogatives of his 
crown ; and as it is in opposition to a kind of power, 
the exercise of which, in former periods of English 
history, cost one king of England his head, and 
another his throne." 

Having delivered this telling and daring blow at 
George III., he next exposed the dangerous charac- 
ter of the writs. Admitting that special writs 

* Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 411; Nugent, Hampden, 224, 


directed to special officers to search certain places 
were legal, he denounced the general warrant in use 
as "the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the 
most destructive of English liberty and the funda- 
mental principles of law, that ever was found in an 
English law-book"; as a weapon "that places the 
liberty of every man in the hands of every petty 

He then boldly appealed to guarantees of civil 
liberty, to principles of right, higher than statutory 
authority. "No act of parliament can establish 
such a writ " ; for " an act against the constitution is 
void; an act against natural equity is void"; and 
"the executive courts must pass such acts into 
disuse." This principle, destined to become so 
vital in our national life, is powerfully supported 
even by English authorities. 1 Legalism may, in- 
deed, deny that a court can in practice actually 
nullify an act of Parliament as contrary to the 
constitution; but Otis proclaimed a doctrine which 
British statesmen might well have heeded. He 
was simply going one step further than Brougham 
many years later, who affirms that "things maybe 
legal and yet unconstitutional." 2 

Departing from the immediate question before 
the court — according to Adams's later recollection 3 — 

1 Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 517, 520-530; Adams, Works, II., 

522, 525. 

2 Brougham, in Wensleydale Peerage Case, 5 H. L. Cases, 979. 
'Adams, Works, X., ziA'Z^I, 3 28 ~338, 345. 35 1 1 Tudor, 

Life of Otis, 84. 


Otis next arraigned the whole mercantile colonial 
system as contrary to natural equity. But it is 
highly probable that in Adams's failing memory the 
arguments of more advanced stages in the great 
revolutionary debate were blended with those 
brought forward in the case of the writs. 

Apparently the majority of the judges were with 
Otis; and the judgment would have been against 
the writs had it been then given. The decision, 
however, was suspended in order that Hutchinson 
might obtain "information of the practice in Eng- 
land.' * At the November hearing "it appeared 
that such writs issued from the exchequer, of course, 
when applied for; and this was judged sufficient to 
warrant the like practice in the province." 1 From 
that time until after the Stamp Act writs of assistance 
were freely issued. 2 If strict legalism were to pre- 
vail, the decree of the court in this case was probably 
just. As a result of his careful inquiry, Justice 
Gray reaches the conclusion that the "decision of 
Hutchinson and his associates has been too strongly 
condemned as illegal: and that there was at least 
reasonable ground for holding, as matter of mere 
law, that the British parliament had power to bind 
the colonies; that even a statute contrary to the 
constitution could not be declared void by the 
judicial courts; that by the English statutes, as 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 94. Cf. the inaccurate 
statements of Adams, Works, X., 233. 

2 Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 405-434. 


practically construed by the courts in England, 
writs of assistance might be general in form; that 
the superior court . . . had the power of the English 
court of exchequer; and that the writs of assistance 
prayed for, though contrary to the spirit of the 
English constitution, could hardly be refused by a 
provincial court, before general warrants had been 
condemned in England, and before the revolution 
had actually begun in America." Yet in none of 
the other provinces, except in New Hampshire and 
New York, does it appear that such writs were ever 
actually issued by the courts, although they were 
sometimes applied for. 1 

Otis' s argument aided powerfully in the formation 
of public opinion. In the next May he was re- 
warded by a seat in the assembly; and for several 
years he dominated the revolutionary scene in 
Massachusetts. A great writer refers to his speech 
as "incendiary." 2 It did, indeed, set fire to the 
tinder which British policy was amply providing. 
Yet if historical truth is violated by exaggerating 
the importance of Otis's argument, there is equal 
danger in minimizing it. With increasing knowl- 
edge it is becoming easier to see that its meaning 
was very great. The validity of the writs of assist- 
ance involved a vital change in a long-standing 
policy. Strict enforcement of the acts of trade 
meant commercial ruin to New England. To the 

1 Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 501-512, 540. 

2 Lecky, England, III., 331. 


northern merchant the illicit trade with the French 
West Indies and in the Spanish main alone was virt- 
ually the bread of life. If from the time of its en- 
actment the molasses act had been rigorously en- 
forced by writs of assistance it is not unlikely that 
the Revolutionary contest would have been hast- 
ened by thirty years. Otis and his associates were 
but opening the struggle for constitutional liberty 
which was already at hand in the mother-country. 
For the writs of assistance were similar in their 
arbitrary character to those "general warrants" 
whose use two years later in the case of Wilkes 
stirred the resentment of patriots on both sides of 
the sea. 

Furthermore, in 181 7 the British board of customs 
forbade the issue of a writ of assistance to any 
officer, "unless he should previously make oath be- 
fore a magistrate of his belief and grounds of be- 
lief that smuggled goods were lodged in a certain 
house." Henceforth, in harmony with Otis's inter- 
pretation of the original law, only "special" writs 
were to be issued in England, and "thus the reason- 
ableness of the position of the colonies was finally 
vindicated in the mother-country." 1 

1 Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 535. 




HE strife between the assemblies and the 

1 governors, royal and proprietary, was one of 
the chief incidents of the colonial system which 
prepared the temper of the people for resistance. 1 
Encroachments of the prerogative were more and 
more resented. The growing sensitiveness in Massa- 
chusetts is disclosed in 17 61 by the bitter contest 
over an alleged misappropriation of the colony's 
share of forfeitures under the molasses act. The 
superior court decided against the colony, thus in- 
creasing the " animosity which existed between the 
contending parties in the province. " It is significant 
that Otis, counsel for the colony, animadverted on 
the court of admiralty, where the abuse arose, 
"as not congenial with the spirit of the English 
constitution." 2 

An event still more enlightening as to the state 

1 Greene, Provincial America {American Nation, VI.), chaps, 
xii., xiii.; Greene, Provincial Governor, chaps, viii.-xi. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 89, 91; Minot, Hist, 
of Mass., II., 81, 87. 



of popular feeling took place in 1762. Without 
legislative authority the governor had fitted out a 
sloop for the protection of the fishing-boats on the 
coast of Nova Scotia at a cost of some ^400. An 
acrimonious wrangle ensued between him and the 
assembly, which saw in this act an invasion of its 
jealously guarded right of granting all supplies. 1 
An incidental result of the contest was a pamphlet 
from Otis containing a bold and eloquent plea for 
civil liberty and democratic equality. 2 

While party antagonisms were thus being stirred 
in Massachusetts more serious resistance was pro- 
voked elsewhere by assertion of the royal preroga- 
tive. One of the most dearly prized safeguards of 
liberty won at the revolution of 1688 was the in- 
dependence of the courts. In England, after the 
Act of Settlement, the judges held office during 
good behavior. They could not be punished for 
conscientious performance of duty by summary 
dismissal at the king's pleasure. Thus far the 
provincial judiciary had in fact enjoyed the same 
security of tenure, but now, a year after the acces- 
sion of George III., the colonies were to be denied 
the guaranties of the Bill of Rights and again sub- 
jected to the arbitrary prerogative which had cost 
James II. his throne. 

1 Minot, Hist, of Mass., II., 119, et seq.; Hutchinson, Hist, of 
Mass. Bay, III., 97-108; Tudor, Life of Otis, 117, et seq.; Adams, 
Works, X., 303, 310, 311. 

2 Otis, Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representa- 


In October, 17 61, after the death of James de 
Lancey, chief justice of New York, Benjamin Pratt, 
a Boston lawyer, was appointed to the office " during 
the king's pleasure.' ' 1 The province was at once 
aroused. Some of the puisne judges at first ab- 
solutely refused to serve unless their commissions 
were renewed during good behavior. The assembly 
declined to provide salaries " except on the express 
condition" that independent commissions should be 
issued. Lieutenant-Governor Colden — who at the 
king's command had made the appointment — at 
first seemed to favor the tenure of the judges during 
good behavior, provided their salaries were also 
made perpetual ; yet in January, 1 7 62 , he wrote to the 
board of trade strongly favoring the unconstitu- 
tional policy ; but on his arrival Monckton, the new 
governor, censured it before the council. Pratt 
himself, after his selection for the vacant place on 
the bench, wrote that "as the parliament at the 
revolution thought it the necessary right of English- 
men to have the judges safe from being turned out 
by the crown, the people of New York claim the 
right of Englishmen in this respect." 2 

Finally, on recommendation of the board of trade, 
the chief justice's salary was provided from the 
royal quit-rents. " Such a salary," suggested Pratt, 
"could not fail to render the office of great service 

l N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII. , 467, 470, 500, 505, 
528, 705, 797. 

2 Bancroft. United States (ed. of 1885), II., 551, 552, 557. 


to his majesty, in securing the dependence of the 
colony on the crown, and its commerce to Great 
Britain. " 1 Pratt died in 1763. He was a worthy 
man, with a high place at the bar, but he held views 
which might well have fitted him to serve an ar- 
bitrary prince. "The people," said he, " ought to 
be ignorant; and our free schools are the bane of 
society; they make the lowest of the people in- 
finitely conceited." 2 By advice of the board of 
trade the course taken in New York was adopted as 
a general policy. "On the ninth of December, 
1 7 61, the instruction went forth through Egremont, 
to all colonial governors, to grant no judicial com- 
missions but during pleasure." 3 The next year 
Hardy, the governor of New Jersey, was summarily 
dismissed from his office for disobeying this com- 
mand. It may not have been the royal purpose 
to make the courts dependent, but worthy motives 
cannot rightly be pleaded in justification of an un- 
constitutional policy. 

After the reign of Anne no act of Parliament was 
ever vetoed by the crown. Any attempt to do so 
would have been resented as an invasion of con- 
stitutional liberty. In the provinces, however, this 
branch of the prerogative was steadily maintained; 
and nowhere did its exercise cause more discontent 
than in Virginia. By royal grant the governor and 

1 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 501. 

2 Adams, Works, II., 97. 

3 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), II., 552. 


assembly enjoyed the right of enacting statutes, if 
not repugnant to the laws of the realm. Within 
three months after passage all bills were to be sub- 
mitted to the king for approval or disallowance. 
The veto, through the Privy Council, was freely 
exercised, and gave rise to complaints. For in- 
stance, ten acts adopted in the revision of 1748 
were "repealed" by proclamation October 31, 
17 5 1, although the fact was not communicated to 
the assembly until April, 1752. Under royal in- 
structions to the governor, a measure once vetoed 
could not be re-enacted without "express leave" of 
the king. Accordingly, the council and burgesses 
united in an address praying that the repealed 
bills might be re-enacted. By the "antient con- 
stitution and usage" of the colony, they declare, all 
new statutes, if not repugnant to the laws of Great 
Britain, " have always been taken and held to be in 
full force, until your majesty's disallowance thereof 
is notified here"; but acts once approved by the 
king "cannot by the legislature here be revised, 
altered, or amended, without a clause therein to 
suspend the execution thereof 'til your majesty's 
pleasure shall be known therein, even tho' our 
necessities ... be ever so pressing." Therefore, 
they ask that in such cases the suspending clause 
may not be enforced, promising " not to enact any 
laws to take effect immediately that your majesty 
hath instructed your governor . . . not to pass 
without a suspending clause." Such enforcement, 


they say, " will subject us to great hardships and in- 
conveniences, since it is not within the reach of 
human foresight to form any laws but what may, 
from experience, be found to want necessary and 
sometimes speedy amendment." 1 This reasonable 
petition was denied by the crown. 

As elsewhere shown, it was the imperial policy 
to encourage the slave-trade. American as well as 
English merchants shared in this lucrative traffic. 
Attempts to restrain it were frowned upon, and 
hence many of the acts of the provincial legislatures 
imposing duties on slaves imported were disallowed 
by the crown. In New England domestic importa- 
tion was restrained chiefly because slavery increased 
the dependent portion of the community; but the 
slave-carrying trade to the sister colonies was not in- 
terfered with. Farther south such duties were laid 
for more economic and social reasons, sometimes from 
dread of slave insurrection. 

On both sides of the sea a moral sentiment 
against slavery was springing up; but before the 
Revolution colonial legislation was very slightly, if 
at all, influenced by humane motives. After 1761 
two acts of the Virginia assembly, raising the duty 
on imported slaves, were vetoed by the crown. 2 
It is probable that these bills, like several others 
passed between 1723 and the Revolution, were 

1 Hening, Statutes, V., 432-448, 567; cf. Meade, Old Churches, 
I., 217. 

2 Hening, Statutes, VIII., 237, 337. 


designed both to raise a revenue and to place a 
check upon the slave-trade, for the law-makers were 
alarmed by the rate at which negroes were being 
brought into the country. 1 Their motives were 
mainly prudential; they objected to the exercise of 
the prerogative, not primarily because the king was 
forcing upon them a traffic which they abhorred, 
but because they believed their welfare was being 
sacrificed in the interest of British merchants. They 
demanded a larger share in the control of their own 
economic and political affairs. The dislike for this 
branch of the royal prerogative was but an instance 
of the growing discontent of the colonies with the 
whole restrictive system of Great Britain. 

Two years later (1763) Patrick Henry made his 
memorable protest against the crown's legislative 
prerogative in the " parson's cause." Almost from 
the beginning tobacco had been the currency of the 
province. It was legal tender in the payment of 
private and public debts, including taxes and the 
stipends of the established clergy. Such a currency 
must inevitably shrink or expand in value with the 
fortune of the season. A failure in the tobacco crop 
"involved the people in general distress; for by law 
if the salaries of the clergy and the fees of officers 
were not paid in tobacco by the tenth day of April, 
the property of delinquents was liable to be dis- 

1 Du Bois, Suppression of the Slave-Trade, 12-15. Cf. Spears, 
African Slave-Trade, chap, vii.; Williams, Negro Race, I., 


trained, and if not replevied within five days, to be 
sold at auction." 1 An act of 1748, confirming a 
law of 1696, fixed the salary of the clergy at sixteen 
thousand pounds of tobacco a year. 

In 1755 a shortage in the tobacco crop threatened 
to increase the general distress caused by the heavy 
burden of the war taxes. Therefore, to release the 
"poor and needy," the assembly passed an act, to 
remain in force ten months, allowing all tobacco 
dues at the " option of the payer" to be paid either 
in kind or in money at the rate of sixteen shillings 
and eightpence for each hundred pounds of tobacco. 2 
Since 1748 this had been the appraised value of 
inspected tobacco, 3 and it was even " better than the 
clergy in general " had commonly received. 4 Be- 
cause the price set was equal to twopence a pound 
the law was called the "twopenny act." The act 
was general in its operation and did not apply 
merely to the clergy. Yet the latter may have 
suffered most, for, although they themselves raised 
tobacco on their glebes, they were mainly dependent 
for a living upon their salaries ; while^ as they com- 
plain, "others have different ways of gain, and if 
they lose by the bill one way, they may gain in an- 
other/' s 

1 Campbell, Virginia, 510. Cf. Bland, Letter to the Clergy, 14. 

2 Hening, Statutes, III., 152; VI., 88, 568. 

3 Henry, Henry, I., 30. 

4 Commissary Dawson, in Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 448. 
For a different statement, see Maury, Memoirs of a Huguenot 
Family, 402. 6 Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 436. 


However, no formal protest followed, though 
meetings were held ; some of the clergy sent memo- 
rials to their diocesan, the bishop of London, and 
Commissary Dawson wrote in their behalf. 1 But 
the crop was not so bad and the price did not rise so 
high as was expected; hence the majority of the 
clergy quietly accepted their loss. Among these 
was James Maury, plaintiff in the "parson's cause." 
"In my own case," he writes, "who am entitled to 
upwards of seventeen thousand weight of tobacco 
per annum, the difference amounts to a considerable 
sum. However, each individual must expect to 
share in the misfortunes of the community to 
which he belongs." 2 

Again in 1758, in mere expectancy of a short crop, 
a relief act was passed allowing for one year the 
payment of all tobacco dues in money at the same 
rate of twopence a pound. 3 As in the former case 
there was no clause suspending the operation of the 
act until sanctioned by the crown. Therefore, the 
act was represented as a bold defiance of the pre- 
rogative As anticipated, the crop was a partial 
failure, and the market price of tobacco rose to 
about three times the statutory rate. It was a 
hardship to the clergy as well as other creditors that 
by this law debts were made payable in paper 
money which was worthless outside of the colony, 

1 Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 434-448. Cf. Meade, Old Churches, 
I., 216. 7 Maury. Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 402. 

8 Hening, Statutes, VII., 240, 241. 



and so could not be used for the purchase of supplies 
in England, where they might be had cheaper than 
at home. 

There was now no lack of resistance by the clergy. 
A war of pamphlets ensued. A convention was 
held, and an agent sent to England to present their 
case before the board of trade. 1 In a letter to that 
body Sherlock, bishop of London, denounced the act 
as "the work of men conscious to themselves that 
they were doing wrong"; as an "act of supremacy 
. . . inconsistent with the dignity of the crown," and 
manifestly tending "to draw the people of the 
plantations from their allegiance to the king when 
they find that they have a higher power to protect 
them." 2 In reply to a pamphlet by Bland, 3 it was 
asserted that the only "dearth and scarcity" exist- 
ing that year in Virginia was "confined to one or 
two counties on the James River, and that entirely 
by their own fault." For "the cause of the short 
crop was want of plants," and the ground might 
have been planted "in corn or pease, which always 
turned to good account." Though the crop was 
short in some places it was on the whole "the best 
crop ever made in Virginia," being worth "near 
one third more " in cash value than any former crop. 4 
The act, it was further alleged, was passed in the in- 

1 Rev. John Camm, in Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 459. 

3 Ibid., 461. 3 Bland, Letter to the Clergy, 7. 

4 Rev. William Robinson, in Perry, Hist. Collections, I. 

VOL. VIII. — 8 


terest of the rich, not in that of the poor. The " rich 
planters were the gainers by it," for they paid "the 
clergy and others to whom they were indebted at one- 
third of the price at which they sold their tobacco." 1 
This evidence — although ex parte — according to 
an American critic, reveals the famous option law 
of 1758, "in all its fresh and unadorned rascality." 2 
There is small ground for so harsh a judgment. The 
motives of the assembly appear to have been just, 
although in its effect the act may have dealt un- 
fairly with the clergy. The traveller Burnaby, who 
chanced just then to be in Virginia, while criticising 
the assembly's action, sharply censures the violent 
conduct of the clergy. " If, instead of flying out in 
invectives against the legislature; of accusing the 
governor of having given up the cause of religion by 
passing the bill; when, in fact, had he rejected it, 
he would never have been able to have got any 
supplies during the course of the war, though ever 
so much wanted; if, instead of charging the com- 
missary with want of zeal for having exhorted them 
to moderate measures, they had followed the prudent 
councils of that excellent man, and had acted with 
more temper and moderation, they might, I am 
persuaded, in a very short time, have obtained any 
redress they could reasonably have desired. The 
people in general were extremely well affected 
towards the clergy." 3 

1 Meade, Old Churches, L, 223. 2 Tyler, Henry, 37. 

3 Bumaby, Travels (ed. of 1798), 22. 


By advice of the board of trade the complaints of 
the clergy were brought before the Privy Council, 
where Lord Hardwicke, in particular, " delivered it as 
his sentiment that there was no occasion to dispute 
about the authority by which the act was passed, 
for that no court in the judicature whatever could 
look upon it to be law by reason of its manifest in- 
justice alone/' 1 On August 10, 1759, the act was 
vetoed by the king in council, and through special 
instructions the governor was ordered to publish 
the fact by proclamation. Fauquier himself was 
reprimanded for not rejecting the bill, and he was 
threatened with recall. 2 

Rev. John Camm, agent of the clergy in London, 
at once directed his attorney to bring action in the 
general court of Virginia for the recovery of his 
salary against the vestry of his parish of York 
Hampton, if they "should stand out" after learning 
the king's decision. "The parish refused to stand 
suit, till they had obtained a promise that the ex- 
pence would be borne out of the publick funds. Ac- 
cordingly an order of the' house of burgesses was 
afterwards made that the expence of appeal where 
the clergy were concerned should be borne by the 
publick," thus bringing the clergy into direct col- 
lision with the assembly. 3 In 1764, by a vote of 
five to four, the general court decided against the 

1 According to Commissary Robinson, in Perry, Hist. Collec- 
tions, I., 510. 2 Campbell, Virginia, 514. 
3 Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 511. 


plaintiff on the ground that the act was valid until 
disallowed by the king. Camm then appealed to 
the Privy Council, and pending the decision the 
" court refused to hear any other similar case." 1 
The appeal was heard in 1767; but on the alleged 
ground of informality it was dismissed, the council 
seemingly being tired of the whole matter. 2 

Without waiting for the issue of Camm's suit some 
of the clergy had already brought action in the 
county courts. In the case of Rev. Thomas Warring- 
ton, of Charles parish, York County, " a jury of his 
parishioners found for him considerable damages, 
allowing on their oaths that there was about twice 
as much justly due to him as the act had granted. 
But the point of law was given against him," the 
court refusing to enter judgment in his favor. Next 
came the suit of Rev. Alexander White, of St. 
David's parish in King William. In this instance 
" the court refused to meddle in the matter and in- 
sisted on leaving" both law and fact "to the jury, 
who delivered their verdict" for the defendant. 3 

The suit which caused most interest was that 
of Rev. James Maury, rector of Fredericksville 
parish, Louisa, a man of high character. On 
November 5, 1763, the county court of Hanover, 
where the action was brought, adjudged the act of 

1 Henry, Henry, I., 45. 

3 Meade, Old Churches, I., 218; Henry, Henry, I., 45. 
3 Perry, Hist. Collections, I., 413, 430, 496, 513. Cf. Henry, 
Henry, I., 34. 


1758, "to be no law"; so it was ordered that at the 
next term "a jury, on a writ of inquiry, should 
determine whether the plaintiff was entitled to 
damages, and if so, how much." The clergy, look- 
ing on this as a test case, were naturally elated; 
for the point of law being settled the final issue 
seemed foreassured. John Lewis, "who had de- 
fended the popular side, retired from the cause as 
virtually decided." 1 In their extremity the de- 
fendants called in Patrick Henry, a young lawyer, 
whose success at the Hanover bar is clearly attested 
by the fact that during the three years and a half 
since he was licensed to practice he had charged 
fees in one thousand one hundred and eighty-five 
suits, besides attending to a proportionate amount 
of "office" business. 2 

The suit came to trial on December 1, 1763. A 
large crowd attended, including " more than twenty " 
of the clergy. On the bench, as presiding magistrate, 
sat John Henry, the young advocate's father. The 
sheriff was ordered to summon a "select jury." 
This he did in a way not wholly to the liking of the 
plaintiff, who alleges that, excusing all gentlemen, 
the officer made the selection entirely from "the 
vulgar herd." It even appears that three or four 
of the jurors were dissenters of the sort called " New 
Lights." The case for the plaintiff was soon pre- 
sented. By the testimony of "the two most con- 

1 Campbell, Virginia, 514; Wirt, Henry, 23. 
a Henry, Henry, I., 25. 


siderable purchasers of that county," it was proved 
that in 1759 tobacco "had currently sold at 505. per 
hundred." 1 It was, therefore, an easy matter to 
show the jury how much of the parson's salary was 
still legally due. 

When Mr. Lyons, the plaintiff's counsel, took his 
seat, Patrick Henry rose and made a speech which 
is looked upon as a warning of the Revolutionary 
contest. More than half a century later William 
Wirt clothed in vivid fancy the impression made 
by Henry's eloquence on the minds of surviving 
hearers. "The jury seemed to have been so com- 
pletely bewildered, that they lost sight not only of 
the act of 1748, but that of 1758 also; for thought- 
less even of the admitted rights of plaintiff, they 
had scarcely left the bar, when they returned with 
a verdict of one penny damages.'" 2 

For the chief points of the argument we are in- 
debted to a letter written just twelve days after the 
trial by a man in no wise tempted to rhapsodize in 
Henry's favor. According to Rev. James Maury, 
plaintiff in the suit, the speaker "labored to prove 
'that the act of 1758 had every characteristic of a 
good law; that it was a law of general utility, and 
could not, consistently with what he called the 
original compact between king and people, stipulat- 
ing piotection on the one hand and obedience on the 
other be annulled.' Hence, he inferred, ' that a king, 

1 Maury, Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 420; Wirt, Henry, 25. 
a Wirt, Henry, 25-27. 


by disallowing acts of this salutary nature, from 
being the father of his people, degenerated into a 
tyrant, and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedi- 
ence.' He further urged, 'that the only use of an 
established church and clergy in society, is to en- 
force obedience to civil sanctions, and the ob- 
servance of those which are called duties of im- 
perfect obligation; that when a clergy ceases to 
answer these ends, the community have no further 
need of their ministry, and may justly strip them 
of their appointments; that the clergy of Virginia, 
in this particular instance of their refusing to ac- 
quiesce in the law in question, had been so far from 
answering that they had most notoriously counter- 
acted, those great ends of their institution' . . . 
Then he perorates to the following purpose, 'that 
excepting they (the jury) were disposed to rivet the 
chains of bondage on their own necks, he hoped 
they would not let slip the opportunity which now 
offered, of making such an example' of the plaintiff 
'as might, hereafter, be a warning to himself and 
his brethren, not ... to dispute the validity of such 
laws, authenticated by the only authority, which, 
in his conception, could give force to laws for the 
government of this colony, the authority of a legal 
representative of a council, and of a kind and 
benevolent and patriotic governor.'" 

When he came to that part where he referred to 
the king as degenerating into a tyrant, "the more 
sober part of the audience were struck with horror, 


Mr. Lyons called out aloud, and with an honest 
warmth, to the bench, 'that the gentleman had 
spoken treason,' and expressed his astonishment 
'that their worships could hear it without emotion, 
or any mark of dissatisfaction.' At the same in- 
stant, too, amongst some gentlemen in the crowd 
behind me, was a confused murmur of Treason, 
Treason!" 1 

It would be as easy to underrate as to overesti- 
mate the significance of this event. Patrick Henry's 
speech was not wholly a triumph of oratory. Its 
deeper meaning consists in its being a protest 
against a dangerous system. The relief acts of 1755 
and 1758 were probably void from their inception; 
and it may be that the clergy were harshly dealt 
with both by the law and by the court. Yet, under 
the peculiar circumstances, a royal prerogative 
which absolutely denied to the colonists the privilege 
of self-help through legislation even of temporary 
force was fast becoming intolerable. Since they 
were so far from the seat of power, they might have 
to wait many months for the king's decision. More- 
over, his authority was often confessedly exercised 
in favor of commercial class privilege regardless of 
the wishes or needs of the provincials. Henry's 
protest stirred the hearts of the people because it 
gave voice to their deepening convictions. In the 

1 Maury, Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 421-423; Hart, 
Contemporaries, II., No. 37, pp. 103-106. Cf. Perry, Hist, 

Collections, I., 514, 515. 


parson's cause private right may have been ob- 
scured by the gathering shadow of a public wrong. 
Its issue was a forecast of the fate of the established 
church in Virginia ; a presage of the Revolutionary 
drama which was even then opening with the an- 
nouncement of Grenville's policy. 





DURING the year 1763, the British ministry re- 
solved to adopt a more vigorous policy for 
colonial control. By the scheme then elaborated 
under the leadership of Charles Townshend, it was 
proposed (1) rigorously to enforce the acts of naviga- 
tion and trade ; (2) to raise a revenue on the colonies 
by direct and indirect taxation; and (3) to use this 
revenue for the support of a standing military force in 
America. The first step in carrying out the new 
policy was taken by George Grenville while at the 
head of the admiralty in Bute's cabinet. Grenville 
was an honest man, too independent to be counted 
among the " king's friends," but of small talent. 
He was devoted heart and soul to the old colonial 
system, and referred to the navigation act as "that 
palladium of the British commerce.' ' 1 At his in- 
stance new powers were now given to the vice- 
admiralty courts in the colonies ; and, by an ingenious 
device for putting an end to illicit trade, all the 

1 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist, XVI., 102. 



commanders of British ships - of - war serving in 
American waters were authorized to act as custom- 
house officers, with the usual share in the contra- 
band and confiscated cargoes. 1 

This unwise measure — put in force by royal order 
a few months later (October, 1763) — bore its natural 
fruit. It became a standing cause of strife. Naval 
officers, often wholly ignorant of the laws which they 
were suddenly called upon to administer, would 
scarcely fail to be guilty of hasty and arbitrary acts. 
In particular, the reckless seizure and confiscation of 
ships engaged in the West India trade caused bitter 
resentment and appeals for redress. 

This ominous opening of the new policy was 
followed by other measures which speedily united 
the colonies in common opposition. In April, 1763, 
Grenville superseded Bute as head of the cabinet. 
On September 23, in pursuance of a minute made 
the day before at a meeting of the treasury board, 
the commissioners of the stamp duties were directed 
to transmit a draft of an act for imposing prop- 
er stamp duties in America. Soon thereafter a 
scheme for a new and efficient system of admiralty 
courts was formed; while stringent orders were 
issued for a more rigid enforcement of the acts of 

Grenville next took up the scheme for raising a 
revenue in the colonies. The burden of the na- 
tional debt had been vastly increased by the war. 

1 3 George III., chap, xxii., § 4. 


Since 1754 the volume of taxes had grown by 
more than £3,000,000. The minister was assured 
that the colonies could well afford to give a part of 
the money needed to maintain garrisons for their 
own protection. To support a force of about ten 
thousand men a revenue of £300,000 would be 
required, and it was intended that the colonies 
should bear one-third of this expense. At no time 
during the struggle was it proposed that the colo- 
nies should be taxed for the support of the home 
government, or even for the full support of the 
army in America. 

Accordingly, on March 9, 1764, Grenville, in the 
House of Commons, suggested that a revenue from 
indirect taxes should at once be raised, and gave 
notice of his purpose at the next session to bring in 
a bill for the levying of stamp duties in the colonies. 
Declaratory resolves to this effect were agreed upon 
in committee, and the next day formally accept- 
ed by the House. 1 April 5 the "sugar act" re- 
ceived the royal approval, and with it the Revo- 
lutionary struggle may be regarded as actually 

King George III. was much pleased with the 
new policy. On proroguing Parliament, April 19, 
he referred with approval to " the wise regulations 
which had been established to augment the public 
revenues, to unite the interests of the most distant 
possessions of the crown, and to encourage and 

1 Commons Journal, XXIX., 933, 935. 


secure their commerce with Great Britain." What 
a "commentary on this sentence," exclaims Froth- 
ingham, "were the events that occurred eleven 
years later, on the anniversary of the delivery of 
this speech." 1 

The preamble of the statute of 1764 2 declares 
that the duties authorized are given and granted to 
the king because "it is just and necessary, that a 
revenue be raised in" his American dominions "for 
defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, 
and securing the same." The act of 1733 is con- 
firmed and extended. The duty laid by it on sugar 
is raised, while that on molasses is lowered. Heavy 
duties are also levied on various foreign products, 
England now being made the staple for Asiatic as 
well as European goods. The drawbacks on re- 
exportation are diminished, to the advantage of the 
English exchequer. The colonies are absolutely 
forbidden to import rum or spirits from foreign 
plantations, or to trade with the French islands of 
St. Pierre or Miquelon. New and stringent reg- 
ulations for the enforcement of the acts of trade are 
prescribed. The penalties for breach of the trade 
laws at the option of the informer or prosecutor may 
be recovered either in any court of record in the 
colony where the offence is committed or in any 
court of admiralty in America. The defendant is 
thus denied the right of trial by jury, and may be 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 164. 
1 4 George III., chap. xv. 


compelled to go five hundred leagues to defend 
himself before a strange tribunal. Though he him- 
self is required to give ample security for costs, in 
case the suit goes against him, yet, should he chance 
to win, he is not entitled to any costs if the judge 
certifies that there was probable ground of action; 
nor is the person making the seizure liable to 
prosecution therefor. 1 

The orders for the enforcement of the molasses act 
with the report that it was to be renewed were 
received in America with the "strongest appre- 
hensions." 2 They "caused a greater alarm in this 
country," wrote Governor Bernard in January, 
1764, "than the capture of Fort William Henry did 
in 1757." 3 The law of 1733 was enacted, not for 
the benefit of the English merchant, but in the 
interest of the British sugar islands, at the expense 
of the colonies. It laid a prohibitory duty on the 
importation into the colonies of all foreign sugar 
and molasses; and so, if enforced, would have de- 
stroyed the best trade of the northern provinces. 
In the foreign West Indies and the Spanish main 
the staple products of the northern colonies found 
a ready market. Fish, lumber, grain, and pro- 
visions were exchanged for sugar, molasses, and 
money. The molasses was used for the manufact- 
ure of rum, of which in 1731 New England made 

1 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 18, et seq. 

2 Minot, Hist, of Mass., II., 140; Adams, Works, X., 345. 
• Bernard, Select Letters, 9. 


one million two hundred and sixty thousand gal- 
lons. 1 

Only through the island trade could the money 
be obtained for the purchase of English goods, 
since as in part a result of the restrictive system the 
balance of trade was always against the colonies. 
On the average about £1,000,000 sterling were 
needed each year to make good the unfavorable 
balance with Great Britain. According to Frank- 
lin, Pennsylvania imported from England goods to 
the value of £500,000 and in return exported but 
£40,000, the balance being largely made up with 
the West Indies. 2 Indeed, this trade was absolutely 
essential to the progress and prosperity of New 
England. It was so admitted by Bernard in 1763 
and by Pownall the next year. Without it, said 
Defoe, in 1741, "these colonies would perish. " 
Ten years earlier Gee was of the same opinion, 
referring particularly to the export of provisions. 3 
In 1763 fifteen thousand hogsheads of French and 
Spanish molasses were brought into Massachusetts 
alone. 4 After the war the trade with the foreign 
islands had rapidly revived. This traffic would 
now suddenly be cut off. 

1 Cf . Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 19-21; Macpherson, An- 
nals. III., 176; Anderson, Hist, and Chron. Deduction, III., 438. 

2 Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), III., 413. Cf. Macpherson, 
Annals, III., 175; Beer, Commercial Policy , 107. 

3 Bernard, Select Letters, 6, it; Pownall, Administration 
(ed. of 1765), 5; Defoe, A Plan for the English Commerce (ed. 
of 1741), 356; Gee, Trade and Navigation (ed. of 1731), 72. 

* Bernard, Select Letters, 10. 


Very instructive are the arguments which Mau- 
duit, the agent of Massachusetts in England, was 
directed by the general court to present against the 
sugar act. " The business of the fishery, which, it 
was alleged, would be broken up by the act, was 
at this time estimated in Massachusetts at £164,000 
sterling per annum; the vessels employed in it, 
which would be nearly useless, at £100,000; the 
provisions used in it, the casks for packing fish, and 
other articles, at £22,700 and upwards: to all 
wmich there was to be added the loss of the ad- 
vantage of sending lumber, horses, provisions, and 
other commodities to the foreign plantations as 
cargoes, the vessels employed to carry fish to Spain 
and Portugal, the dismissing of 5,000 seamen from 
their employment, the effects of the annihilation of 
the fishery upon the trade of the Province and of 
the mother - country in general, and its accumu- 
lative evils by increasing the rival fisheries of 

A forcible argument turned upon the means of 
1 ' remittances to England for goods imported into 
the Province, which had been made in specie to 
the amount of £150,000 sterling, besides £90,000 
in treasurer's bills for the reimbursement money, 
within the last eighteen months. The sources for 
obtaining this money were through foreign coun- 
tries by the means of the fishery; and would be cut 
off with the trade to their plantations." The agent 
was also instructed to protest against the naviga- 


tion act of 1663, requiring European goods to be 
shipped through England. The " expense of carry- 
ing some articles received for fish in Spain and 
Portugal to London, to enter them in the custom- 
house there, would be so great as to exceed the 
amount of the cost, and many times the value of 
the duty also ; and fruit so necessary for the health 
and comfort of the inhabitants would be lost from 
the length of voyage." 1 

The first result of the new policy was to organize 
public opinion throughout the colonies. A senti- 
ment of union was fostered and forms and modes 
of concerted action were developed. For a year 
memorials, petitions, state papers, protests, pam- 
phlets, and public meetings were the order of the 
day. The sugar act and the menace of a future 
stamp tax were before the country at the same time ; 
but it is very significant that the first movement in 
America was against the sugar act. Even before 
its passage the measures of 1763 for the execution 
of the commercial code had aroused hostile dis- 
cussion. Rhode Island prepared a remonstrance 
to the lords of trade, to be presented by her agent 
"if any three of the agents of the other colonies 
would unite with him in the same." 2 "To promote 
a union or a coalition of all their councils" against 
the renewal of the molasses act, committees of 

1 Minot, Hist, of Mass., II., 146-148, 150. Cf. the facts collected 
by Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, of New Eng., II., 745-768. 
3 In the Boston Evening Post, November 21, 28, 1763. 

VOL. VIII. — © 


merchants were formed in various towns, and these 
corresponded with each other. 1 

The earliest action against the new sugar law by 
a political body was taken at the Boston town-meet- 
ing on May 24, 1764. It was supposed that the law 
was already enacted although as yet only its passage 
by the Commons had been reported. 2 A committee 
of five was then appointed to prepare instructions 
for the town's newly chosen representatives in the 
assembly of the province. The instructions were 
drafted and presented by Samuel Adams, a gradu- 
ate of Harvard, who even thus early comes forward 
in the great role he was to take in the Revolution as 
the organizer of public opinion. The representatives 
are enjoined to use their "influence in maintaining 
the invaluable rights and privileges of the province " ; 
and to " preserve that independence in the house of 
representatives, which characterizes a free people." 
" Our trade," they add, " has for a long time laboured 
under great discouragements; and it is with the 
deepest concern that we see such further difficulties 
coming upon it, as will reduce it to the lowest ebb, 
if not totally obstruct and ruin it." The assembly 
is rebuked for not taking earlier notice of the "in- 
tentions of the ministry, to burden us with new 
taxes," referring to the agent's report that the 
molasses act was to be renewed.- 3 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 162, 163. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay. III., 106, 107. 
8 Ibid., III., 104, 105. 



The Bostonians enlarged on the nature of im- 
perial trade. If "our trade is to be curtailed in its 
most profitable branches, and burdens beyond all 
possible bearing laid upon that which is suffered 
to remain, we shall be so far from being able to take 
off the manufactures of Great Britain, that it will be 
scarce possible for us to earn our bread." Further- 
more, "if our trade may be taxed, why not our 
lands? Why not the produce of our lands, and 
every thing we possess or make use of? This we 
apprehend annihilates our charter right to govern 
and tax ourselves. It strikes at our British privi- 
leges, which as we have never forfeited them, we 
hold in common with our fellow-subjects who are 
natives of Britain : If taxes are laid upon us in any 
shape without our having a legal representation 
where they are laid, are we not reduced from the 
character of free subjects to the miserable state of 
tributary slaves ? ... As his majesty's other northern 
American colonies are embarked with us in this 
most important bottom, we farther desire you to 
use your endeavours, that their weight may be added 
to that of this province : that by the united applica- 
tion of all who are aggrieved, all may happily obtain 
redress." 1 

Though this initial document of the Revolution 
deals with the restrictions on trade, it deftly in- 
cludes three principles of immense moment in the 

1 Otis, Rights of the British Colonies (London ed.), App., 100- 


approaching struggle. (1) It asserts the doctrine of 
"no taxation without representation"; and at the 
same time scorns the attempted distinction between 
internal and external taxation. (2) The full rights 
of Britons are claimed. (3) The united protest of 
all the colonies is suggested. 

The general court of Massachusetts met on May 
30. A committee was appointed by the house 
of representatives to consider the instructions of 
the Boston meeting, and the letter from Mauduit 
received early in the session announcing the final 
enactment of the revenue law. 1 This committee 
submitted a "memorial" drafted by Otis, stating 
the rights of the colonies. This famous argument 
contains a fourth revolutionary principle, in the 
hope expressed that " it will not be considered a new 
doctrine that even the authority of the parliament 
of Great Britain is circumscribed by certain bounds, 
which if exceeded, their acts become those of mere 
power without right, and consequently void"; for 
"it is contrary to reason that the supreme power 
should have right to alter the constitution. This 
would imply that those who are intrusted with 
sovereignty by the people have a right to do as 
they please." 

The memorial, like the instructions, deals almost 
wholly with the trade problem. "The fishery is 
the centre of motion, upon which the wheel of all 
the British commerce in America turns." It "is 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 108. 


certain that without the fishery seven-eighths of 
this commerce would cease." If "it can be demon- 
strated that the sugar and molasses trade from the 
northern colonies to the foreign plantations is upon 
the whole a loss to the community, by which term 
is here meant the three kingdoms and the British 
dominions taken collectively, then, and not till then, 
should the trade be prohibited." Such is "the 
extent of this continent, and the increase of its in- 
habitants, that if every inch of the British sugar 
islands was as well cultivated as any part of Jamaica 
or Barbadoes, they would not now be able to supply 
Great Britain" and her American colonies. 1 

An elaborate letter to the agent, also written by 
Otis, was reported. Mauduit is sharply rebuked for 
his concessions to the ministerial policy; and he is 
instructed to urge the repeal of the sugar act and to 
protest against the proposed stamp duties. "The 
silence of the province," he is told, "should have 
been imputed to any cause, even to despair, rather 
than be construed into a tacit cession of their rights, 
or an acknowledgment of a right in the Parliament 
of Great Britain to impose duties and taxes upon a 
people, who are not represented in the house of 
commons." They protest against the "burden- 
some scheme" of "obliging the colonies to maintain 
an army " as unconstitutional. To prove that it was 
unjust they refer to their services, particularly in the 

1 Otis, Rights of the British Colonies (London ed.), App. 106- 


recent war, and to the debt which the province is 
still bearing. 1 This letter and the memorial were 
sent to the agent in London. On June 13 a com- 
mittee of correspondence, with Otis at the head, 
was authorized to acquaint the other governments 
with the action of the house and to " desire the 
several assemblies on this continent to join with them 
in the same measure." 2 Accordingly, twelve days 
later, a circular letter was sent to all the colonies 
asking their "united assistance." 

In these proceedings the Massachusetts house 
of representatives had acted separately from the 
council, apparently the first instance of their so 
doing in any general question relating to the whole 
province. Such an irregular course seemed un- 
wise to the more cautious party. On their petition, 
therefore, the governor called the general court to 
meet in special session on October 18. 3 In reply to 
the governor's speech the council and house joined 
in a forcible argument against the act of 1764, with 
a mere incidental reference to the proposed stamp 
tax. A petition to the House of Commons (Novem- 
ber 3), drafted by Hutchinson, was also agreed 
upon. 4 It contained a weak protest against laying 

1 Journal of the [Mass.] House, 1764, pp. 72-77. Cf. Bradford, 
Mass. State Papers, 25-28. 

2 Journal of the [Mass.] House, 1764, p. 77; reappointed on 
November 3 by the general court, ibid., 137. 

3 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., no, 112; Journal of 
the [Mass.] House, 1764, p. 93. 

* Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 18-23. 


stamp duties, but did not claim exemption from 
parliamentary taxation as a right. Its real weight 
bears on the injustice of the sugar act. Further- 
more, in their letter to Mauduit, transmitting the 
petition, they distinctly say " that the late act of 
parliament" imposing additional duties "affects this 
colony more than any other." 1 

From the facts already presented it seems very 
clear that for at least seven months after the declara- 
tory resolves the people of Massachusetts were far 
more alarmed by the enforcement of the sugar act 
than they were by the menace of a stamp tax. 
The other colonies, too, as the next chapter will dis- 
close, were quite alive to the supreme importance 
of this first internal revenue law. An examination 
of the pamphlet literature for the same period leads 
to the like result. In July appeared James Otis's 
Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. 
This is the calmest and most carefully prepared of 
Otis's political writings. It is a clear and temper- 
ate exposition of natural rights and constitutional 
principles as equally concerning all members of the 
British nation. He argues that colonists have lost 
none of their privileges as men and Englishmen 
by leaving the old home. "If I were to define 
the modern colonists, I should say, they are the 
noble discoverers and settlers of a new world; 
from whence, as from an endless source, wealth, and 
plenty, the means of power, grandeur, and glory, 

1 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 24, 25. 


in a degree unknown to the hungry chiefs of former 
ages, have been pouring into Europe for three 
hundred years.' * A colony "is a settlement of 
subjects in a territory disjointed or remote from 
the mother country, and may be made by private 
adventurers or the public; but in both cases the 
colonists are entitled to as ample rights, liberties, 
and privileges as the subjects of the mother coun- 
try are, and in some respects to more." 

Otis, however, freely admits the legislative su- 
premacy of Parliament. All of the colonies "are 
subject to, and dependent upon Great Britain" ; and 
"therefore as over subordinate governments" Par- 
liament "has an undoubted power and lawful au- 
thority, to make acts for the general good, that, by 
naming them, shall and ought to be equally binding 
as upon the subjects of Great Britain within the 
realm." The colonists "should not only be con- 
tinued in the enjoyment of subordinate legislation, 
but be also represented in some proportion to their 
number and estates in the grand legislation of the 
nation." Without such representation taxation is 
unconstitutional. "Is there the least difference, as 
to the consent of the colonists, whether taxes and 
impositions are laid on their trade, and other prop- 
erty, by the crown alone, or by the parliament?" 
If Parliament "have an equitable right to tax our 
trade, it is indisputable that they have as good an one 
to tax the lands " ; for " there is no foundation for the 
distinction some make in England between an 


internal and an external tax on the colonies." 1 To 
have the whole tax for a standing army in America 
" levied and collected without our consent is extraor- 
dinary.' ' That privilege "is allowed even to tribu- 
taries, and those laid under military contribution." 

Yet there is no thought of independence in 
Otis's argument. Were the colonists "inclined to 
it, they know the blood and the treasure it would 
cost." Could they have the choice between inde- 
pendency and subjection to Great Britain, "upon 
any terms above absolute slavery, I am convinced 
that they would accept the latter." They "will 
never prove undutiful, till driven to it, as the last 
fatal resort against ministerial oppression, which 
will make the wisest mad, and the weakest strong." 2 

About two months after the appearance of Otis's 
tract, Oxenbridge Thacher published his Senti- 
ments of a British American. This is a loyal, con- 
ciliatory, but firm protest against the new ministerial 
policy. It is devoted almost wholly to analyzing 
the act of 1764, showing that its provisions are 
unjust to the colonists and dangerous to British 
subjects everywhere. The effect of the act will be 
to deprive England of her best customer; for the 
colonists will be compelled either to manufacture 
their goods or do without. About the same time 
that the pamphlets of Otis and Thacher were 
issuing from the Boston press, two essays were 

1 Otis, Rights of the British Colonies, 37, 53, 57, 63, 99. 
*Ibid., 65, 77. 


anonymously published in the middle colonies. 
They are written from the stand-point of the Amer- 
ican merchant, and each deals with the trade 
problem in a broad, tolerant, and enlightening 
spirit, showing that the welfare of the entire British 
people would be served better by increasing rather 
than restricting the liberty of commerce. 1 

According to Moses Coit Tyler, it is very curious 
that these writings, though published long after the 
announcement of the proposed Stamp Act, make no 
reference to that measure. In his view the American 
"people, bewildered in the thicket of passing events, 
did not at first perceive their true relations and 
proportions. But, at about the time of the appear- 
ance of Thacher's pamphlet, that is, in the early 
autumn of 1764, the appalling significance of the 
notice of the stamp act began to dawn upon them ; 
and then, almost at once, the centre of gravity shifted 
from the immediate past to the immediate future, — 
from the measure that had become a law in the 
preceding March 2 to the measure that might be- 
come a law in the following March." 3 

In several ways this statement is misleading. 
The American people were by no means " bewildered " 
by the swift development of the ministerial policy. 
On the contrary, they very clearly saw the vast 

1 An Essay on the Trade of the Northern Colonies, etc.; Some 
Thoughts on the Method of Improving and Securing the Ad- 
vantages, etc. 2 A slip for "April " 

3 Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 60, 6?. 




relative importance of the act of 1764. Its signifi- 
cance was not less " appalling" than that of the 
proposed stamp tax. It was even more alarming, 
so far at least as the northern provinces were con- 
cerned. The tax levied by it was the same in 
principle as the stamp duties; while the swift 
destruction of trade which it threatened meant an 
immediate sacrifice more harmful than the stamp 
tax could possibly cause for years to come. Nor 
was there such a sudden change in sentiment as 
here represented. Feeling simply became more in- 
tense because the grievance was growing. The 
effect of the stamp tax was cumulative. In the 
struggle against it, presently to be considered, the 
sugar act was not forgotten. It lies at the bottom 
of the revolutionary contest. 

This is so not merely because it taxed the Amer- 
ican people without their consent, but chiefly be- 
cause it confirmed the molasses act which was al- 
ready being executed by new and unconstitutional 
devices. In the words of a writer who rejected the 
popular idea that the "Revolution began in the 
stamp act," "neither the duties laid in 1764 nor the 
collection of the taxes anticipated from the stamp 
act of 1765 would have produced a tithe of the 
evil that would have followed" from the enforce- 
ment of the molasses act.- "They went to war 

Chamberlain, "The Revolution Impending," in Winsor, 
Narr. and Crit. Hist., VI., 24-26, 63. Cf. the similar view of 
Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, of New Eng., II., 753. 


against a preamble. They fought seven years 
against a declaration." 1 This epigram of Webster, 
like most epigrams, is only true in part. The 
revolutionary debate did, indeed, turn mainly on 
constitutional principles ; but below the question of 
constitutional right lay the economic grievance as a 
stern reality. 

1 Webster, Works, IV., 109. 




HE renewal of the molasses act and the en- 

1 forcement of the commercial code were pecul- 
iarly the work of Grenville. For the Stamp Act, too, 
he must be held responsible. Yet the policy of 
American taxation was not original with him. It 
was in a sense " devolved" upon him. Its elements 
may be found in the administrative records of the 
preceding thirty-five years. Save for the form of 
the molasses act, Parliament had steadily observed 
the distinction between external and internal taxes. 
Duties were levied solely for the regulation of trade, 
although some revenue might actually accrue. 

Taxation of the colonies had already been thought 
of: even a stamp duty was suggested in 1728 1 and 
again in 1739 2 by Sir William Keith, governor of 
Pennsylvania; and a " scheim" for a similar tax was 
submitted to Governor Clinton by Lieutenant- 

1 Keith, A Short Discourse, in Byrd^ Dividing Line, II., 

2 Lecky, England, III., 343; Adams, Works, X., 74, 80. 



Governor Clarke of New York, in 1744. 1 In 1754 
and in 1756 2 Shirley of Massachusetts advised 
the levy of a common war fund on America. His 
project was ably resisted by Franklin, 3 and the 
ministry declined to accept it; as it did also the 
similar counsel of Governor Hardy of New York 
and Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia. 

The actual initiative in the new revenue policy 
was taken by Charles Townshend, first lord of trade 
in the Bute cabinet. Like Grenville, he prided 
himself on having an accurate knowledge of the 
colonies; and with Halifax, in 1 751-1753, he had 
urged a firmer exercise of the prerogative in secur- 
ing provincial control. He now (1763) favored a 
policy to be enforced by acts of Parliament. The 
colonial governments were to be remodelled accord- 
ing to a uniform plan ; the acts of trade enforced ; 
a revenue raised in America, to be disbursed under 
the king's sign manual without appropriation by 
Parliament; and this revenue used for the salaries 
of the royal officers and the maintenance of a 
military establishment in the colonies. 

The carrying out of Townshend's scheme was 
prevented by the dissolution of the Bute ministry in 
April, 1763. In part his policy was taken up and 
developed by Grenville, as already seen; but he 
positively rejected its harsher features. He de- 

1 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VI., 268, 269. 

2 Knox, Controversy, 196-197; Lecky, England, III., 341. 

3 Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), II., 376-383; Knox, Con- 
troversy, 194. 


clined to interfere with the colonial charters or to 
allow the salaries of the royal officers in the colonies 
to be paid from England. " Nor would he listen to 
the suggestion that the revenue to be raised in 
America should constitute a fund to be disposed of 
under the sign manual of the king; he insisted that 
it should be paid into the receipt of the exchequer 
to be regularly appropriated by parliament." 1 

To a man of Grenville's narrow statesmanship a 
revenue tax laid by Parliament on America seemed 
reasonable. That it would be strictly legal ap- 
peared clear, unless it was unlawful for Parliament 
in any case to legislate for the colonies while they 
were unrepresented ; and even the colonies had not 
yet made that claim. Moreover, he urged, there 
was pressing need of money in consequence of the 
war. 2 Equally reasonable to him appeared the 
design to place a small military force in America and 
to tax the colonists for its support. There seems 
to be no ground to question the justice of Lecky's 
view that the "primary object" of the government 
was to defend the provinces and to guard the wider 
imperial interests; although he admits that 4 'it is 
possible, and indeed very probable, that a desire to 
strengthen the feeble executive, and to prevent the 
systematic violation of the revenue laws, was a 
motive with those who recommended the establish- 
ment of an army in America." 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 68. 

2 Almon, Biographical Anecdotes, II., 88. 


With the new conquests in India and America 
the increasing expense of maintaining the empire 
bore more heavily upon the eight million English- 
men at home, "weighed down with debt and with 
taxation, and with a strong traditional hostility to 
standing armies." Furthermore, in both India and 
Ireland the precedent of dividing the military bur- 
den with the dependencies of the crown had already 
been set. At that moment, though impoverished 
and groaning under almost intolerable ecclesiastical 
and political oppression, Ireland was supporting a 
force of twelve thousand men. 1 Yet it must be con- 
fessed that the example of these " conquered'' coun- 
tries could hardly afford a persuasive argument 
against the traditional dread of a standing army 
which in the colonies was even more acute than 
in England. 

Nevertheless, Grenville proposed the stamp tax 
with some reluctance. He was urged to it by men 
at home like Welbore Ellis and the Marquis of 
Halifax, as also by Pownall, Bernard, and other 
American officials. 2 Even Franklin — who it is 
much to be feared more than once resorted to special 
pleading — at this time professed to view with com- 
placency a tax for the support of an army in the 
colonies. 3 Therefore Grenville decided to give a 

1 Lecky, England, III., 339. 

3 Pownall, Administration (ed. of 1765), 89, et seq.; Bernard, 
" Principles of Law and Polity," in his Select Letters, App., 75, 
et seq. 3 Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), III., 299. 


year's notice of the proposed act, as if to invite a 
constitutional discussion ; or, as his critics said, to 
"allow time for mooting the question of right and 
preparing in the colonies an opposition to the law." 
To the provincial agents at the close of the session he 
said he had "proposed the resolution in the terms 
the parliament has adopted, from a real regard and 
tenderness for the subjects in the colonies." If 
"they thought any other mode of taxation more 
convenient to them, and made any proposition 
which should carry the appearance of equal ef- 
ficiency with the stamp duty, he would give it all 
due consideration." 1 But it seems clear that he 
meant the tax, whatever its form, should be levied 
by Parliament. 2 

The reception in America of the notice of the 
Stamp Act should have been ample warning to the 
ministry of the dangerous course on which it was 
entering. The effect in Massachusetts has already 
been considered. 3 Even the timid Hutchinson, in a 
letter to the secretary of the chancellor of the ex- 
chequer, forcibly presented the case of the people. 
In most of the colonies the proposed stamp tax and 
the new revenue law were discussed. Memorials, 
petitions, and addresses were sent to England. The 
assembly of Connecticut desired the governor, 
Thomas Fitch, to "prepare an humble and earnest 

1 Knox, The Claim of the Colonies (London, 1765), 32. 

2 Cf. Knox, Controversy, 199, with Burke, Speech on American 
Taxation (ed. of 1775), 53—55- 3 Chap, vi., above. 



address" to Parliament against the "bill for a stamp 
duty, or any other bill for an internal tax on the 
colony"; and this address with the "Book of 
Reasons " was ordered sent to the agent in London. 1 
The book referred to was the Reasons Why the 
British Colonies in America Should not be Charged 
with Internal Taxes by Authority of Parliament, 
written by the governor himself as member of a 
committee. It admits that Parliament has "a 
general authority, a supreme jurisdiction over all 
his majesty's subjects," and that this jurisdiction 
properly extends to duties for the regulation of 
trade. But since the people neither have nor can 
have representation in Parliament, the charging 
of stamp duties or other internal taxes "would be 
such an infringement of the rights, privileges, and 
authorities of the colonies, that it might be humbly 
and firmly trusted, and even relied upon, that the 
supreme guardians of the liberties of the subject 
would not suffer the same to be done." 2 

The attitude of Pennsylvania was much bolder. 
At this moment the selfish policy of the proprietors 
was arousing earnest opposition. Franklin and 
Galloway, with the great body of the Quakers, 
desired that the province should be made a royal 
government, while Dickinson and others dreaded 
the change lest their civil liberties should be still 

1 Conn. Col. Records, XII., 299. 

2 Fitch, Reasons Why, etc; also in Conn. Col. Records, XII., 


more imperilled. 1 Both parties, however, were 
united against the schemes of Grenville. The as- 
sembly showed a willingness to grant requisitions in 
the customary way; but they would have nothing 
to do with the "financier." The king always ac- 
companied his request with "good words"; but 
Grenville, "instead of a decent demand, sent them 
a menace, that they should certainly be taxed, and 
only left them the choice of the manner." 2 Parlia- 
ment "had really no right at all to tax them." 
Therefore, they resolved that as "they always had, 
so they always should think it their duty to grant 
aid to the crown, according to their abilities, when- 
ever required of them in the usual constitutional 
manner." 3 

This sentiment is repeated in the instructions to 
Richard Jackson, the colony's agent. "Taxes as- 
sessed in any other manner, where the people are not 
represented, and by persons not acquainted with 
the colonies, would be unequal, oppressive, and 
unjust, and what we trust a British parliament will 
never think to be right." 4 The agent is required to 
remonstrate against the proposed stamp tax, and to 
endeavor to secure a repeal or modification of the 
sugar act. Indeed, the two sets of instructions sent 
to him deal largely with the evil effects of the acts 

1 Pa., Votes of the House of Rep., V., 345, 346, 379, 380; also 
Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), III., 286, et seq. 

2 Franklin to Alexander, in Works (Bigelow's ed.) , VI., 143-145. 

3 Pa., Votes of the House of Rep. (Bigelow's ed.), V., 383. 
'Ibid., 363, 364, 377, 378. 


of trade, and in particular with those caused by the 
prohibition of the European trade in lumber and 
iron. At this time Franklin was sent to England 
to act with Jackson as colonial agent, and letters 
from the committees of correspondence brought en- 
couraging word of the resistance of Massachusetts 
and Rhode Island. 1 

North Carolina protested strongly against the 
sugar act. October 31, 1765, in addressing Gov- 
ernor Dobbs, the assembly said: "We observe our 
commerce circumscribed in its most beneficial 
branches, diverted from its natural channel, and 
burthened with new taxes and impositions laid on 
us without our privity or consent and against what 
we esteem our inherent right and exclusive privilege 
of imposing our own taxes." 2 The governor him- 
self regarded the acts of trade as harmful to the 
colony. 3 

In some cases the governors took a course not at 
all likely to soothe the popular resentment. Thus 
the assembly of South Carolina was prorogued 
before any statement of its wishes was agreed 
upon, but not before a committee with power to 
act had been appointed. In the instructions to 
Charles Garth, the colony's agent, the committee 
complain of the severity of the acts of trade, and 
declare that the stamp tax would be inconsistent 

1 Pa., Votes of the House of Rep., V., 355, 356, 383 (September 

376, 383 (October). 2 N. C. Col. Records, VI., 1261. 

3 Ibid., VI., 1020-1023, especially 102 5-1035. 


"with that inherent right of every British subject, 
not to be taxed but by his own consent, or that of his 
representatives. For, though we shall submit most 
dutifully at all times to acts of parliament, yet, we 
think it incumbent on us humbly to remonstrate 
against such as appear oppressive, hoping that when 
that august body come to consider this matter they 
will view it in a more favorable light, and not 
deprive us of our birthright, and thereby reduce 
us to the condition of vassals and tributaries." 1 
In like spirit, through repeated prorogations, the 
governor of Maryland prevented the assembly from 
coming together before the Stamp Act was passed; 
yet the hostile public opinion made itself known 
through the press. 2 

The course taken by Virginia was firm and 
dignified. A committee appointed by the council 
and burgesses 3 on November 1 4 prepared an ad- 
dress to the king, a memorial to the Lords, and a 
remonstrance to the House of Commons. The 
colonists, it is claimed in the address, have "every 
right and privilege" which their ancestors had in 
the mother-country. Exemption from taxes with- 
out consent is a "fundamental principle of the 
British constitution"; for "property must become 
too precarious for the genius of a free people, which 

1 Gibbes, Doc. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 1-6. 

2 Mereness, Maryland, II., 477; Scharf, Maryland, I., 524. 

3 Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1764, p. 38; Wirt, Henry, 
v4pp., note a. 


can be taken away from them at the will of others, 
who cannot know what taxes such people can bear, 
or the easiest mode of raising them; and who are 
not tinder that restraint, which is the greatest 
security against a burthensome taxation, when the 
representatives themselves must be affected by 
every tax imposed." 

Not less courageous was the response of New 
York. That province, as already seen, 1 had re- 
cently suffered from the interference of the pre- 
rogative with the independence of the courts; and 
now Governor Colden was urging a project to allow 
final appeal to the king in all cases tried before a 
jury in the common law courts, even without a writ 
of error. 2 Early in March, 1764, a memorial of the 
merchants against the renewal of the molasses act 
came before the council ; 3 and in June, when the news 
arrived that this was actually done, the people were 
stirred to strong resentment. Men spoke in the 
temper of the later non -importation resolves. " It 
appears plainly," said Robert Livingston, "that 
these duties are only the beginning of evils. The 
stamp duty, they tell us, is deferred, till they see 
whether the colonies will take the yoke upon them- 
selves, and offer something else as certain. They 
talk, too, of a land-tax, and to us the ministry 

1 See chap, v., above. 

7 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 681-685, 695, et seq. 
3 Council Minutes, XXV., 512; Calendar of Council Minutes, 


appears to have run mad." 1 Even Colden ad- 
mitted the folly of the molasses act. 2 

In October the New York assembly appointed a 
committee of correspondence, and presented a strong 
statement of grievances to the king and another 
to the Lords. In the petition to the Commons — 
which Colden describes as "indecent" — they de- 
clare that "the thought of independency upon the 
supreme power of the parliament we reject with the 
utmost abhorrence. The authority of the parlia- 
ment of Great Britain to model the trade of the 
whole empire, so as to subserve the interest of her 
own, we are ready to recognize in the most extensive 
and positive terms; but the freedom to drive all 
kinds of traffic, in subordination to and not incon- 
sistent with the British trade, and an exemption 
from all duties in such a course of commerce, is 
humbly claimed by the colonies as the most essential 
of all the rights to which they are entitled as colonists, 
and connected in the common bond of liberty with 
the free sons of Great Britain. For, since all im- 
positions, whether they be internal taxes, or duties 
paid for what we consume, equally diminish the 
estates upon which they are charged, what avails it 
to any people by which of them they are impover- 
ished?" The loss of their rights, they suggest, is 
likely to "shake the power of Great Britain." 3 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 78. 

2 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 612. 

3 Bancroft, United Slates (ed. of 1885), III., 89. 


The opposition in Rhode Island was led by- 
Stephen Hopkins, who, like Fitch of Connecticut, 
was governor by popular choice. In October the 
committee of correspondence, of which he was 
chairman, sent out a circular letter saying, "the 
impositions already laid on the trade of these 
colonies must have very fatal consequences. The 
act in embryo for establishing stamp duties, if 
effected, will further drain the people, and strongly 
point out their servitude" ; it "will leave us nothing 
to call our own." Therefore, it is hoped that some 
method may "be hit upon for collecting the senti- 
ments of each colony, and for uniting and forming 
the substance of them all into one common defence 
of the whole." 1 The assembly's petition to the 
king, in November, professes alarm at the resolution 
to impose a stamp tax ; declares that " the restraints 
and burdens" laid on their trade by the late act are 
such, if continued, as " must ruin" them ; and claims 
the "essential privilege" of Englishmen of being 
governed by laws made by their own consent, and 
of parting with their property only "as it is called 
for by the authority of such laws." 2 November 22, 
by authority of the assembly, appeared at Provi- 
dence a pamphlet by Stephen Hopkins, in which the 
American case was admirably stated. 3 It was re- 

1 See the letter in Pa., Votes of the House of Rep., V., 376. 
Cf.R. L Col. Records, VI., 403. 2 R'. I. Col. Records ,VI., 414-416. 

3 Hopkins, The Rights of the Colonics Examined; reprinted by 
Almon as The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly 


printed in nearly every colony ; and both in America 
and England its strong argument and conciliatory 
tone must have made a powerful impression on 
public opinion. 1 

In reply to Hopkins the case of the loyalists was 
most skilfully presented by Martin Howard, a rep- 
utable lawyer of Newport. He boldly attacked the 
new doctrine of nullification at its vital point, deny- 
ing "that the colonists have rights independent 
of, and not controlled by, the authority of parlia- 
ment." First, under their charters they have not 
all the political rights of Englishmen at home. " I 
fancy," he says, "when we speak or think of the 
rights of freeborn Englishmen, we confound those 
rights which are personal with those which are 
political. . . . Our personal rights, comprehending 
those of life, liberty, and estate, are secured to us by 
the common law, which is every subject's birthright, 
whether born in Great Britain, on the ocean, or in 
the colonies; and it is in this sense we are said to 
enjoy all the rights and privileges of Englishmen. 
The political rights of the colonies, or the powers of 
government communicated to them, are more limit- 
ed; and their nature, quality, and extent depend 
altogether upon the patent or charter which first 
created and instituted them. As individuals, the 
colonists participate of every blessing the English 
constitution can give them; as corporations created 

1 Foster, Stephen Hopkins, II., 57-59; Tyler, Lit. Hist, of 
Am. Rev., I., 63-69. 


by the crown, they are confined within the primitive 
views of their institution." Secondly, the colonists 
are not exempt from taxation because they do not 
send delegates to Parliament. They are virtually 
represented. The members of the House of Com- 
mons are "representatives of every British subject 
wherever he be, and therefore, to every useful and 
beneficial purpose, the interests of the colonists are 
as well secured and managed by such a house, as 
though they had a share in electing them." There- 
fore, he concludes, the colonists may justly challenge 
the justice or wisdom of the particular measures of 
Parliament, but not its jurisdiction. 1 

While these and other writings in America were 
called out by the notice of the Stamp Act, two notable 
tracts issued from the London press. One, by the 
famous wit, member of Parliament, and man of 
letters, Soame Jenyns, assails in a jaunty though 
effective manner the objections of the colonists to 
being taxed by Parliament ; the other, by Grenville 
himself, is perhaps the ablest defence of the minis- 
terial policy produced during this stage of the con- 
troversy. Like Jenyns, 2 he bases the right of taxa- 
tion on the alleged fact of "virtual representation," 
and he refers with satisfaction to the palliative 
measures by which the late revenue act was accom- 
panied. For the bounties on hemp and flax had 

1 Howard, A Letter from a Gentleman at Halifax, 6, 8, 21. 

2 Jenyns, The Objections to the Taxation of Our American 
Colonies Briefly Considered (ed. of 1765), 4-9. 


been renewed ; the American whale - fishery en- 
couraged by the repeal of the high discriminating 
duties; and the rice of South Carolina and Georgia 
admitted directly to the foreign plantations of 
America as by earlier laws it might be carried to 
European ports south of Cape Finisterre. 1 

The remonstrances of the colonies were of no 
avail. Under the rule against receiving petitions 
against a money bill their appeals were rejected 
without a hearing. 2 The lords of trade reported 
to the king the action of the assemblies of Massa- 
chusetts and New York as "indecent" and fitted to 
disturb the "dependence" of the colonies. 3 For 
a moment, it is said, Grenville, like Adam Smith, 
did, indeed, look with favor on the recommenda- 
tion of Franklin 4 and the repeated suggestions of 
Otis, 5 that colonial representation should be ad- 
mitted to Parliament ; but in both America and Eng- 
land the idea was generally regarded as imprac- 

The passage of the Stamp Act attracted scarce any 
notice in England. February 2, 1765, a final re- 
monstrance of the colonial agents proved fruitless. 

1 Grenville, The Regulations Lately Made, 47-56, 104, et seq.; 
see his speech in 1766, in Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 

2 Ibid., XVI., 35; Kimball, Correspondence of the Col. Gov- 
ernors of R. I., II., 360. 

3 iV. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 678. 
4 Smith, Wealth of Nations (ed. of 1887), II., 135, et seq.; 
Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), II., 384-387. 
6 Tudor, Otis, 185-200. 


As a substitute Franklin could only urge the usual 
method by royal requisition ; but Grenville silenced 
him by asking how the apportionment was to be 
made. Four days later the fifty-five resolutions 
comprising the details of the proposed law were 
submitted by Grenville to the House of Commons in 
the committee of ways and means. 1 On the 13th 
the bill was introduced without debate; on the 27th 
it was sent to the Lords ; and on March 22 it received 
the royal sanction by commission, the king then 
being insane. The debate was languid, being en- 
livened only by Colonel Isaac Barre's eloquent reply 
to Charles Townshend, in which he referred to the 
colonists as "sons of liberty," 2 and by Conway's 
defence of the right of petition. 

During the progress of the bill there was but one 
division, and then the minority did not amount to 
"more than forty." It was passed in the Commons 
by a vote of 205 to 49, and by the Lords without 
"debate, division, or protest." 3 The arrogance 
and blind indifference with which the sentiments 
and petitions of the colonists were treated during 
the enactment of this fatal measure place the re- 
sponsibility for the American Revolution squarely 
on the shoulders of the British government. 

1 Commons Journal, XXX., 97-101. 

* Cobbett - Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 38, 39, n. On the 
question of the genuineness of this speech, see Adolphus, Hist, 
of Eng., I., 167, and especially, McCrady, Hist, of S. C, 1719- 

I77 6 > 579. n. 2. 

3 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 40- 



The Stamp Act 1 required that every broadside, 
newspaper, or pamphlet; every bill, note, or bond; 
every lease, license, insurance policy, ship's clear- 
ance paper, or college diploma; every instrument 
used in the conveyance of real or personal property ; 
and all legal documents of every kind should be 
written or printed on stamped vellum or paper, to 
be sold by public officials appointed for the purpose. 
In some cases the cost of business transactions 
would thus be increased many fold. The penalties 
imposed are cognizable, "at the election of the in- 
former or prosecutor," in any court of record or 
admiralty having jurisdiction in the colony where 
the offence is committed. The revenue derived is 
to be paid into his majesty's exchequer, and ex- 
pended under direction of Parliament solely for the 
purpose of " defending, protecting, and securing the 
said colonies." 

To lessen the opposition, Grenville informed the 
agents that he did not think of sending stamp 
officers from England, " but wished to have discreet 
and respectable persons appointed from among the 
inhabitants; and that he would be obliged to them 
to point out to him such persons." 2 They all com- 
plied with his request. Even Franklin named his 
friend, John Hughes, as stamp distributer for Penn- 
sylvania ; and through his influence Jared Ingersoll, 
the agent of Connecticut, accepted the same office 

1 5 George III., chap. xii. Cf. Mac Donald, Select Charters, 
281-305. 2 Gordon, United States, I., 166. 


for his colony. The duty "will fall particularly 
hard on us lawyers and printers," said Franklin. 
The next day after the act was passed he wrote 
home to Charles Thompson, "we might as well have 
hindered the sun's setting. . . . Since it is down, . . . 
let us make as good a night of it as we can. We may 
still light candles. Frugality and industry will go 
a great way towards indemnifying us." 1 Neither 
Franklin nor any of his colleagues seems to have 
doubted that the act would be quietly enforced. 
In fact, Knox, agent of Georgia, wrote a pamphlet 
in its defence. 2 

At the same time Grenville extended his palliative 
measures. New bounties were offered on the im- 
portation of timber from the plantations; the re- 
strictions on the export of iron and lumber were 
relaxed; and the rice of North Carolina was given 
the same advantage as that of the two neighboring 
provinces. 3 In the effect on colonial sentiment these 
favors were far more than offset by the provisions 
of another unwise law of this session. 4 By the 
so-called "billeting act" British troops in America 
might be quartered in barracks provided by the 
colonies ; or when these did not suffice, in ale-houses, 
inns, barns, and uninhabited houses; the owners 

franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), X., 430. 

2 Knox, The Claim of the Colonies, etc. 

3 5 George III., chap, xlv., §§ 11, 19, 22, 23. 

4 5 George III., chap, xxxiii.; MacDonald, Select Charters, 


might be compelled to furnish them with food and 
drink at a fixed rate; and the money needed for 
the purpose was required to be levied " in such 
manner as the public charges for the province are 



HE effect of the passage of the Stamp Act soon 

1 revealed how fatally the ministry and even the 
colonial agents had misjudged the temper of the 
American people. The spontaneous formation of 
parties, begun two years before, 1 now made rapid 
progress. The party of resistance, the patriots, were 
called Whigs ; the party of submission, Hutchinson 
says, as early as 1763 were branded as Tories. 
The former, more numerous and aggressive, suc- 
ceeded eventually in uniting all the provinces, from 
New Hampshire to Georgia, in common opposition 
to the new tax. 

There was, however, a period of suspense. For 
some time after it was known that the bill had be- 
come a law the colonists paused as if weighing the 
tremendous responsibility of defying the jurisdiction 
of Parliament. To many of the leaders it seemed 
inevitable that the act would be enforced. Five 
weeks after news of its passage Hutchinson wrote to 


Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 103. 




the ministry, "The stamp act is received among us 
with as much decency as could be expected; it 
leaves no room for evasion, and will execute itself." 1 
April 27, Colden of New York assured Halifax that 
his province remained in "perfect tranquillity," not- 
withstanding "the efforts of a faction to raise dis- 
content in the minds of the people." 2 Governor 
Sharpe of Maryland reported that the "warmth" 
of those who had a "notion" that the charter ex- 
empted them from such requisitions "would soon 
abate," and that in spite of the violent outcries of 
the lawyers the Stamp Act would be carried into 
execution. 3 

Although the "assembly of Pennsylvania was in 
session when tidings of the passage of the stamp 
act reached Philadelphia," it adjourned without 
taking "public notice of it." 4 Even Otis, who in 
1764 had said "it is our duty to submit" to the 
sugar act, 5 now again declared it to be the "duty 
of all humbly and silently to acquiesce in all the 
decisions of the supreme legislature. Nine hundred 
and ninety-nine in a thousand of the colonists will 
never once entertain a thought but of submission 
to our sovereign, and to the authority of parliament 
in all possible contingencies. . . . They undoubtedly 
have the right to levy internal taxes on the colo- 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., no. 
9 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 710. 
8 Browne, Sharpe Correspondence, III., 210. 

4 Gordon, Pennsylvania, 433. 

5 Otis, Rights of the British Colonies, 40. 



nies. ' ' 1 But appearances were deceptive : there was a 
smouldering fire of popular resentment which might 
at any time be stirred into a living flame. 

The first organized resistance came from Virginia 
under the lead of Patrick Henry. From the moment 
of his victory in the "parson's cause " that young 
lawyer was marked in the province as a rising man. 
He was now rewarded with a place in the house of 
burgesses, where, his biographer says, " he was 
promptly to gain an ascendency that constituted 
him, almost literally, the dictator of its proceedings, 
so long as he chose to hold a place in it." 2 Early 
in May, 1765, he was chosen to fill a vacancy in the 
representation of Louisa county, of which he was not 
then a resident. The old leaders of the assembly 
were cautious and seemed inclined to yield. 

It was not until four weeks after the opening of the 
session that the first action regarding the stamp 
tax was taken. On May 29 a motion was carried 
"that the house resolve itself into a committee of 
the whole, immediately to consider the steps neces- 
sary to be taken in consequence of the resolutions of 
the house of commons of Great Britain, relative to 
the charging certain stamp duties in the colonies 
and plantations of America." In the committee 
Patrick Henry, who had taken his seat but nine 
days before, stepped boldly forward to assume the 

1 Otis, Brief Remarks on the Defence of the Halifax Libel; 
Vindication of the British Colonies, 21, 26. 
* Tyler, Henry, 55. 


revolutionary leadership, proposing a preamble and 
seven resolutions, which he had written on a blank 
leaf of an old copy of "Coke upon Littleton." 1 In 
them he claimed for the colonists of Virginia all the 
rights at any time enjoyed by the people of Great 
Britain. Among these is the exclusive privilege 
of taxing themselves, "the distinguishing charac- 
teristic of British freedom, and without which the 
ancient constitution cannot subsist." 

A stormy debate ensued. The resolutions were 
supported by the more democratic members of the 
western counties, but strongly opposed by Bland, 
Wythe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Peyton Randolph, and 
all the old and aristocratic leaders, "whose influ- 
ence in the house had, till then, been unbroken," 2 
and whom the mover had just antagonized by his 
exposure of a corrupt financial scheme which some 
of them had favored. 3 Henry was abused, ridiculed, 
and threatened. According to Jefferson, who heard 
the debate, the contest on the fifth resolution was 
especially "bloody"; but "torrents of sublime elo- 
quence from Mr. Henry, backed by the solid reason- 
ing of Johnston, prevailed." 4 This resolution de- 
clares that every attempt to vest the power of tax- 
ation in any "persons whatsoever, other than the 
general assembly aforesaid, has a manifest tendency 

1 See the critical account of the versions of these resolutions 
by Tyler, Henry, 61-67, notes/ 

2 Jefferson, Memorandum, in Hist. Mag., new series, II., 91. 

3 Henry, Henry, I., 76-78; Tyler, Henry, 56, 57. 

* Jefferson, Memorandum, in Hist. Mag., new series, II., 9?, 


to destroy British as well as American freedom." 
At this point, while " descanting on the tyranny" 
of the Stamp Act, the orator startled the house with 
a warning from history as with thrilling voice he 
exclaimed, " Tarquin and Caesar had each his Brutus ; 
Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the 
Third " — here the speaker cried "Treason," and the 
word was echoed from every part of the house, while 
Henry "rising to a loftier attitude," and fixing his 
eye on the chair, closed the sentence — " may profit 
by their example. If this be treason make the most 
of it." 

Apparently the preamble and seven resolutions 
were agreed to in the committee of the whole. On 
May 30, after a warm contest in the house, the last 
two resolutions with the preamble were rejected, 
while the remaining five were adopted, but only 
by a majority of one or two. 1 The resolutions re- 
jected boldly asserted that the inhabitants of the 
colony "are not bound to yield obedience to any 
law or ordinance" imposing taxation upon them 
without their consent, and denounced as "an enemy 
to his majesty's colony" any person who should 
maintain that any body other than the colonial 
assembly has the right or power to levy such taxes. 
On the afternoon of that same day Henry, " clad in 
a pair of leather breeches, his saddle-bags on his arm, 
leading a lame horse, and chatting with Paul Carring- 

1 According to Patrick Henry's own statement, Henry, 
Henry, I., 81. 


ton," was seen passing along the street on his way- 
home. 1 The next morning, their dread antagonist 
being no longer at hand, the conservative members 
got together and expunged the fifth resolution from 
the record. 

Meantime, in manuscript copy, as the supposed 
action of the assembly, the entire series of resolves 
agreed to in committee — except the third, omitted 
by error — was on its way to Philadelphia and New 
York. Borne onward to New England, they were 
published and widely circulated in the newspapers, 
and had a powerful influence in producing the ex- 
citement and violence which followed. For beyond 
question the Virginia resolves mark an important 
crisis in the impending revolution. 2 

While Virginia was thus raising the standard of 
resistance Massachusetts pointed the way to union. 
On May 29 — the very day when Patrick Henry read 
his resolves — the general court began its session. 
The speech of Governor Bernard was most infe- 
licitous in tone. Contrary to custom the assembly 
made no reply, but turned at once to the great 
question of the hour. June 6, James Otis sug- 
gested that a meeting of "committees" from the 
assemblies should be called to consider the danger 
which menaced the country from the stamp tax. 3 
His suggestion was unanimously adopted; but the 
conservatives, in the hope of controlling the move- 

1 Grigsby, Virginia Convention of 1776, 150. 

2 Henry, Henry, I., 94-106. 3 Warren, Am. Rev., I., 31. 


ment, were strong enough to secure the election of 
two of their number to serve with Otis as delegates 
of the house. These were Oliver Partridge and 
Timothy Ruggles, whom Bernard described as " fast 
friends of government, — prudent and discreet men 
who would never consent to any improper applica- 
tion to the government of Great Britain." 1 On 
June 8 was adopted a circular letter inviting all the 
colonies to send delegates to a congress to be held 
in New York on the first Tuesday in October, to 
consider the difficulties to which the colonies "are 
and must be reduced by the operation of the acts 
of parliament for levying duties and taxes" upon 
them, to prepare a loyal and humble " representation 
of their condition" to the king and Parliament, and 
to "implore relief." 2 

For several weeks the response to the Massa- 
chusetts letter was not encouraging. The assembly 
of New Hampshire seemed to favor the plan of a 
congress but failed to appoint delegates. 3 June 20, 
the last day of its session, the assembly of New 
Jersey received the circular letter. Robert Ogden, 
the speaker, was opposed to the project; and the 
house, while " not without a just sensibility respect- 
ing the late acts of parliament affecting the northern 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 177; Journal of the [Mass.] 
House, 1765, pp. 108, 110. 

2 The letter is in the Boston Evening Post, August 26, 1765; 
also Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 36; and Journal of the 
[Mass.] House, 1765, p. 109. 

*N. H. Provincial Papers, VII., 81. 


colonies," and wishing "such other colonies as 
think proper to be active every success they can 
loyally and reasonably desire," unanimously de- 
clined "to unite on the present occasion." 1 

Gradually the influence of the Virginia resolves 
made itself felt. The tide of popular excitement 
began to rise. First to accept the invitation was 
South Carolina. August 2, under the leadership of 
Christopher Gadsden, the assembly appointed dele- 
gates to the congress, and in its resolutions 2 the 
Stamp Act and the acts extending the jurisdiction 
of the courts of admiralty were held to have " a mani- 
fest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties 
of this province." Next, on August 13, the town 
of Providence instructed its representatives in the 
Rhode Island assembly to use their influence in 
favor of sending delegates to New York, and to 
"procure the passage of a series of resolves, in which 
were incorporated those adopted by Virginia." 3 
Accordingly, in September, the assembly appointed 
delegates to the congress, and adopted a declaration 
of rights embracing the substance of the Virginia 
resolutions, and directing all officers of the colony 
"to proceed in the execution of their respective 
offices in the same manner as usual," promising to 
indemnify and save them harmless. 4 During the 

t N. J. Archives, IX., 496. 

2 Drayton, Mem. of Am. Rev., I., 41; McCrady, Hist, of S. C. f 
1719-1776, 561-563; 

3 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 181. 

4 R. I. Col. Records^ VI., 449-452. 


same month deputies were chosen by the assemblies 
of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland. In 
each case resolves similar in character to those of 
Virginia were agreed upon. 1 

Thus in six cases delegates to the congress were 
chosen by the assemblies. In addition New York 
sent its committee of correspondence, while Dela- 
ware and New Jersey were each represented by 
delegates elected by members of the assemblies 
acting informally. 2 Virginia, Georgia, and North 
Carolina sent no delegates, their governors refusing 
to call the assemblies. New Hampshire, too, was 
unrepresented. Yet all these colonies were in sym- 
pathy with the congress, and from both Georgia and 
New Hampshire came assurance of accepting its 
action. 3 

Meantime, throughout the country intense excite- 
ment prevailed. From town-meetings, county as- 
semblies, and provincial legislatures came remon- 
strances and resolves. Through pamphlets and 
newspapers a fierce contest was waged. It soon 
became quite clear that the Stamp Act would be 
absolutely nullified. As a form of passive resistance 

1 Pa., Votes of the House of Rep., V., 419, 420, 426; Conn. Col. 
Records, XII., 410, 421-425. Cf. Mereness, Maryland as a Prop 
Province, 478-482; Scharf, Maryland, I., 535-539. 

2 Journal of the Congress, in Niles, Principles and Acts, 159- 
161; N. J. Archives, IX., 524-526; Almon, Prior Documents 
27. 36. 

3 Proceedings of the Congress, in Almon, Prior Documents 



non-importation agreements 1 were made and domes- 
tic manufactures encouraged. While the Stamp 
Act was still pending, many of the people of Boston 
had pledged themselves to abstain from the use 
of English goods, and "particularly to break off 
from the custom of wearing black clothes or other 
mourning." After its passage, to increase the 
growth and manufacture of wool in the province, 
an agreement was " signed by a great portion of the 
inhabitants of Boston, to eat no lamb during the 
year." 2 Frugality and industry were the maxims 
of the hour. 

Active resistance to the execution of the Stamp 
Act centred in the associations of Sons of Liberty 
which at this time sprang up everywhere in the 
colonies and whose name may have been suggested 
by Barre's speech. For a time these organizations 
were kept secret ; but " as they increased, they grew 
in boldness and publicity, announcing their com- 
mittees of correspondence, and interchanging sol- 
emn pledges of support." 3 They aimed directly at 
forcible resistance. To enforce the non-importation 
agreements and to compel the stamp distributers 
to resign were their principal objects. 

Nowhere was opposition more active or deter- 
mined than in New York. 4 Here Franklin's wood-cut 

1 For example, in New York, N. Y . Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., 
VII., 800. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 116, 117. Cf. Almon, 
Prior Documents, 5. 3 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 183. 

4 Dawson, Sons of Liberty, 69, et seq. 


device, first employed against the French, of a snake 
cut in parts, with the motto " join or die," was used 
against Great Britain; 1 and here, even before Vir- 
ginia had raised the standard of resistance or 
Massachusetts had pointed the way to union, "in- 
dependence" was boldly suggested by John Morin 
Scott. The "great fundamental principles of gov- 
ernment," he wrote, "should be common to all its 
parts and members, else the whole will be endan- 
gered. If, then, the interest of the mother country 
and her colonies cannot be made to coincide ; if the 
same constitution may not take place in both; if 
the welfare of the mother country necessarily re- 
quires a sacrifice of the most natural rights of the 
colonies — their right of making their own laws, and 
disposing of their own property by representatives 
of their own choosing — if such is really the case be- 
tween Great Britain and her colonies, then the 
connection between them ought to cease; and, 
sooner or later, it must inevitably cease." 2 In 
September a New York newspaper announced that 
on February 7, 1765, "Lady North American 
Liberty" had " died of a cruel stamp on her vitals " ; 
but, happily, she had left an only son, "prophet- 
ically named Independence," on whom the "hopes 
of all her disconsolate servants are placed for re- 

1 In the Constitutional Courant, September, 1765. Cf. Dawson, 
Sons of Liberty, 74; Thomas, Hist, of Printing, II., 322. 

2 Scott's essay signed "Freeman," in Holt, N. Y. Gazette and 
Weekly Postboy; Dawson, Sons of Liberty, 70. 


lief under their afflictions, when he shall come of 
age." 1 

Forcible annulment could scarcely fail to degen- 
erate into mob - violence — the inevitable incident 
of revolution. The first riots occurred in Boston, 
where, August 8, the name of Andrew Oliver, 
brother-in-law of Chief - Justice Hutchinson, had 
appeared in a published list of stamp distributers. 
On the morning of August 14, Oliver's effigy with 
that of Lord Bute was seen suspended from an 
elm in Boston, thereafter famous as the " Liberty 
Tree." In the evening a great crowd, marching in 
order and shouting, " Liberty, property, and no 
stamps," carried the images on biers through the 
old state - house, where the governor and council 
were then sitting. Arriving at Kilby Street, they 
pulled down the frame of a building which they 
fancied Oliver designed for a stamp office, and then 
used the fragments to burn the effigies before his 
own home on Fort Hill, first smashing all the win- 
dows next to the street. 2 The following day Oliver 
announced his resignation. 

Worse things were soon to come. On Sunday, 
August 25, the popular preacher, Jonathan Mahew, 
warmly condemned the Stamp Act, indiscreetly 
taking the text, " I would they were even cut off 

1 Holt, N. Y. Gazette and Weekly Postboy, September 5, 1765; 
Dawson, Sons of Liberty, 77. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, II., 120, 121; Bancroft, 
United States (ed. of 1885), III., 135. 


which trouble you." The next day a mob burned 
the records of the vice - admiralty court, sacked 
the house of the comptroller of customs, and de- 
stroyed the fine mansion of Hutchinson, who was 
erroneously believed to favor the Stamp Act, and 
was disliked for his course regarding the writs of 
assistance. 1 " The very partition walls were beaten 
down ; the furniture destroyed ; the family paintings 
and plate defaced; a large sum of money pillaged; 
and a valuable collection of books and manuscripts, 
the fruit of thirty years' labor, almost entirely anni- 
hilated." 2 The manuscript of Hutchinson's history 
of Massachusetts still " carries on its edges the mud 
of the Boston streets into which it was thrown." 

The town-meeting declared its detestation of these 
proceedings. A few arrests were made; but the 
prisoners were soon rescued by the people, and 
none of the culprits were ever brought to justice. 
December 17, Oliver suffered a more shameful in- 
dignity. Alleging a rumor that he was about to 
resume his office of stamp distributer the "true- 
born sons of liberty" demanded a public denial. 
Standing under the Liberty Tree before two thou- 
sand people, he was forced to read a renunciation 
of his office and swear to it on the spot before a 
justice of the peace. 8 

1 Mass. Archives, 26, cited by Gray, in Quincy, Reports, 441. 

7 Grahame, United States, IV., 216. Cf. Hutchinson, Hist, of 
Mass. Bay., III., 124, et seq. 

3 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 139; Gordon, United 
States, I., 189. 


Similar outrages occurred in other colonies. At 
Newport, on the very next day after Hutchinson's 
house was destroyed, Augustus Johnson, the stamp 
distributer, Thomas Moffat, a physician, and Martin 
Howard, author of the able pamphlet above men- 
tioned, were hanged and burned in effigy. The 
following night the same mob gutted Howard's 
house and injured his person; whereupon, in fear 
of his life, with Moffat, he "took shelter in the 
Signet man of war, and soon after departed for 
Great Britain." 1 Thus in the name of liberty free 
speech was suppressed. 

Naturally the wrath of the people was chiefly 
directed against those Americans who had accepted 
the post of stamp distributer. Besides those al- 
ready mentioned, Meserve" of New Hampshire, 
Coxe of New Jersey, McEvers of New York, Mercer 
of Virginia, Houston of North Carolina, Lloyd of 
South Carolina, Ingersoll of Connecticut, Hood of 
Maryland, and even Franklin's friend, the stanch 
Quaker, Hughes of Pennsylvania, all through reason 
or terror were induced to resign. October 31, the 
day before the Stamp Act was to take effect, all 
the colonial governors except Hopkins, of Rhode 
Island, took the oath to put it in force ; but already 
every stamp distributer on the continent had 
given up his post. 

The first day of November began with the tolling 
of muffled bells and the flying of pennants at half- 

1 Almon, Prior Documents, 14. 


mast. It " was signalled in several towns by pro- 
cessions carrying the stamp act to be burned or 
buried, or again by the funeral of a coffin bearing the 
name of Liberty, which after being lowered into the 
grave was raised again with the inscription ' Liberty 
Revived.' Handbills posted at the street corners 
in Boston warned those who should distribute or 
use stamps to look to themselves." 1 Like notices 
were posted in New York, where the day was spent 
in tumultuous demonstrations ending in riots. 2 
For a time after this date business requiring the 
use of stamps was generally suspended throughout 
the colonies. Except in Rhode Island the courts 
were closed. Ships hesitated to go to sea without 
stamped clearance papers. But gradually business 
was nearly everywhere renewed in open disregard 
of the law. Nullification was virtually complete. 

The first congress of the Revolution met in the 
city hall at New York on Monday, October 7, 1765, 
and remained in session until Friday the 25th. 8 
It was composed of twenty-seven members rep- 
resenting nine colonies. Timothy Ruggles, a loy- 
alist deputy of Massachusetts, was elected chair- 
man, and John Cotton clerk. Conspicuous for 
ability among the members were Edward Tilghman 
of Maryland; Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney 

1 Ludlow, War of Am. Independence, 72. 

2 Dawson, Sons of Liberty, 89, et seq. 

3 The proceedings and state papers of the Congress are in 
Niles, Weekly Register, II., 337-344; Niles, Principles and 
Acts, 155-169; and Almon, Prior Documents, 26-37. 


of Delaware; Philip Livingston of New York; 
William Livingston of New 1 Jersey ; John Dickinson 
of Pennsylvania; Thomas Lynch, John Rutledge, 
and Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina; and 
James Otis of Massachusetts, the foremost speaker. 
It was decided to base the liberties claimed by 
Americans, not on royal charters, as Johnson of 
Connecticut suggested, but upon higher principles 
of natural equity. "A confirmation of our essential 
and common rights as Englishmen," wrote Gadsden, 
"may be pleaded from charters safely enough; but 
any further dependence upon them may be fatal. 
We should stand upon the broad common ground of 
those natural rights that we all feel and know as 
men, and as descendants of Englishmen. I wish 
the charters may not ensnare us at last by drawing 
different colonies to act differently in this great 
cause. Whenever that is the case, all will be over 
with the whole. There ought to be no New Eng- 
land man, no New-Yorker, known on the continent, 
but all of us Americans/ ' 1 

After eleven days' debate a " declaration of rights 
and grievances' ' was adopted, consisting of a pre- 
amble and fourteen resolutions. On the ques- 
tion of natural rights, the declaration announced 
that his majesty's subjects in the colonies owe the 
same allegiance and are entitled to the same "in- 
herent rights and liberties " as " his natural born 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 150, quoting a 
MS. letter of Gadsden. 


subjects" in Great Britain. Among the essential 
rights of Englishmen are those of trial by jury and 
of not being taxed save by their own consent. 
This led to an assertion as to representation: that 
the "people of these colonies are not, and, from 
local circumstances, cannot be, represented in the 
house of commons." Their only representatives 
"are persons chosen therein by themselves." The 
logical deduction was that no taxes " ever have 
been, or can be constitutionally imposed on them, 
but by their respective legislatures." Therefore, the 
recent acts of Parliament laying stamp duties and 
extending the jurisdiction of the courts of ad- 
miralty "have a manifest tendency to subvert the 
rights and liberties of the colonies." Indirect taxes 
are not squarely repudiated as unconstitutional; 
but the recent restrictions on American commerce 
are described as "burthensome and grievous." 

Similar rights and immunities are claimed in the 
" address" to the king, the " memorial" to the Lords, 
and the " petition" to the Commons. In the latter 
the deputies say that there is a " material distinction 
in reason and sound policy, at least, between the 
necessary exercise of parliamentary jurisdiction in 
general acts, for the amendment of the common law, 
and the regulation of trade and commerce through 
the whole empire, and the exercise of that jurisdic- 
tion, by imposing taxes on the colonies" ; and " that 
it would be for the real interest of Great Britain, 
as well as her colonies, that the late regulations 


should be rescinded" and the recent tax laws re- 

The congress of 1765 is a fact of decisive meaning 
in the rise of the American nation. It is an ex- 
pression of the sentiment of union forced out by 
the revenue acts. Its state papers — the first drawn 
up by an intercolonial body during the Revolution 
— are admirable in form and character. In the 
declaration of rights a body representing the ma- 
jority of the American people first set forth the 
cardinal principles upon which the republic was 
soon to rest. 

VOL. VIII. — 12 





A MONTH before the bursting of the storm 
aroused by its policy the Grenville ministry 
had fallen. It was driven from office under cir- 
cumstances which revealed that a struggle for con- 
stitutional liberty must be waged on both sides of 
the sea. The king had never given full confidence to 
his cabinet; and he continued to take secret coun- 
sel with his favorite, the Earl of Bute, under whose 
direction the new administration was formed. 1 
Determined to govern as well as reign, he strove 
to do so through the same desperate expedient of 
balancing the curia against the camera which had 
brought ruin to Charles I. and long before him to 
Edward II. 2 For the maxim that the king can do 
no wrong is true only when he acts solely through 
his constitutional advisers. 

At first Grenville seems to have found himself 
little more than the mere instrument of the " king's 
friends." According to Lord Chesterfield, the " pub- 

1 Grenville Papers, II., 32-40, 85, et seq. 

2 Stubbs, Const. Hist, of Eng., II., 311. 




lie looked still at Lord Bute through the curtain 
which indeed was a very transparent one." Gren- 
ville could not patiently brook such an invasion of 
his province. He reproached the king for with- 
holding confidence from his minister. "As fond 
of power as the king himself, — and with a will as 
strong and imperious, — tenacious of his rights as a 
minister, and confident in his own abilities and in- 
fluence, — he looked to parliament rather than to the 
crown, as the source of his authority." 1 The king, 
finding himself opposed and thwarted by a ministry 
which had been forced upon him, resolved to get rid 
of it as soon as practicable. 2 This he first attempted 
in August, 1763, when Bute was commissioned to 
invite Pitt to form a new administration; but the 
project was dropped when it was learned that Pitt 
proposed to recall Earl Temple and the very Whig 
leaders whom his majesty had said he should never 
suffer to " come into his service while he lived to hold 
the scepter." 3 

In 1765 the crisis came in a contest over the 
regency bill. The king had just recovered from 
his fit of insanity, and the heir to the throne was 
a child two years of age. Clearly there was need 
of providing for the exercise of the royal functions 
in cases of emergency. Slighting his cabinet, the 
king called upon Lord Holland for advice. In turn 

1 May, Const. Hist, of Eng. (Am. ed. of 1899), L, 34, 35. 

2 Grenville Papers, II., 83-85, 89. 

3 Ibid., 93, 105, 196; Bedford Correspondence, III., 224. 


the offended ministers, when commanded to bring 
in a bill for a regency, attempted to disqualify the 
king's mother, the ambitious princess dowager, who 
was disliked as the friend and former patroness of 
Bute. Wearied by the complaints of Grenville and 
the blunt speeches of Bedford, 1 the king now de- 
termined to get rid of the ministry at the cost even 
of a complete surrender to the detested Whigs. At 
his request his uncle, the duke of Cumberland, 
entered into negotiations with Pitt. "I am ready 
to go to St. James's," said the Great Commoner, 
"if I can carry the constitution with me." He was 
promised a free hand in making up a cabinet; gen- 
eral warrants were to be condemned; while Barr6, 
Conway, and others, who had been deprived of their 
offices for their votes in Parliament, were to be re- 
stored. At a personal interview with the king in 
June, Pitt declared himself against the late acts for 
taxing the colonies and restraining their trade. On 
this point, too, the king seemed to yield. Pitt, 
therefore, invited his brother-in-law, Earl Temple, 
to join him in forming an administration; but 
Temple, at variance with Pitt regarding the Stamp 
Act, declined to serve, and drew nearer to Grenville, 
also his brother-in-law. Without his aid Pitt thought 
it unwise to proceed. 
The triumph of Grenville now seemed complete. 

1 Walpole, Memoirs of George III., II., 159-162, 179, 182; 
Bedford Correspondence, III., pp. xliii. -xlv., 286-288; Gren- 
ville Papers, III., 194. 



Already, among the conditions of remaining in 
office, the ministry had forced the king to promise 
that Bute should not be suffered to interfere in 
the conduct of the government " in any manner or 
shape whatever." 1 

At this juncture Cumberland succeeded in form- 
ing an opposition ministry. July 10, while busy 
with plans for the execution of the Stamp Act, 
Grenville was summoned to St. James's to lay 
down his office. "He besought his majesty, as he 
valued his own safety, not to suffer anyone to 
advise him to separate or draw the line between his 
British and American dominions"; declared that 
the colonies were the "richest jewel of his crown"; 
and that "if any man ventured to defeat the reg- 
ulations laid down for the colonies, by a slackness in 
the execution, he should look upon him as a criminal 
and the betrayer of his country." 2 

The new ministry seemed likely to be more 
favorable to the American cause. As premier at 
the head of the treasury was placed the Marquis 
of Rockingham, leader of the Whig aristocracy, who 
had been deprived of the lord-lieutenancy of his 
county for his vote against the peace in 17 63. 3 
Moreover, it seemed fitting that General Conway, 
who had opposed the Stamp Act and was likewise a 

1 Grenville Papers, III., 41, 184-186; Walpole, Memoirs of 
George III., II., 175; Adolphus, Hist, of Eng., L, 179. 

2 Grenville Papers , III., 211-216. 
'Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, I., 154-159. 


victim of the royal proscriptions, should become 
secretary of state for the southern or colonial divis- 
ion. But the ministry was weak, containing not a 
single man of conspicuous ability. 

Yet in no way was Grenville's fall due to the 
Stamp Act. During Cumberland's negotiations for 
a new ministry colonial affairs were not even men- 
tioned; and for six months after Rockingham came 
to power Pitt's views regarding American taxation 
seem to have been unknown to the ministry. 1 " It 
was probably a complete surprise to them to learn 
that it [the Stamp Act] had brought the colonies to 
the verge of rebellion, and in the first months of 
their power they appear to have been quite uncer- 
tain what policy they would pursue." 2 

The English people were divided on the issue. 
The landed aristocracy in general looked upon the 
colonists as rebels, and would have compelled obe- 
dience by military force. On the other hand, the 
merchants of many cities and towns petitioned for 
repeal. They said that the "colonists were in- 
debted to the merchants of this country to the 
amount of several millions sterling for English 
goods which had been exported to America; that 
the colonists had hitherto faithfully made good 
their engagements, but that they now declared their 
inability to do so; that they would neither give 
orders for new goods nor pay for those which they 

1 See Cumberland's memorial, in Albemarle, Memoirs of Rock- 
ingham, I., 185-203, 269. 2 Lecky, England, III., 361. 



had actually received; and that unless parliament 
speedily retraced its steps, multitudes of English 
manufacturers would be reduced to bankruptcy. 
In Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, and many other 
towns, thousands of artisans had been thrown out of 
employment. Glasgow complained that the stamp 
act was threatening it with absolute ruin, for its 
trade was principally with America, and not less 
than half a million of money was due by the colonists 
of Maryland and Virginia alone" to its merchants. 1 

While the ministry was still undecided the king 
saw clearly that the crisis was of vital meaning. He 
declared himself "provoked" and " humilitated " by 
the riots and the surrender of the stamps in New 
York. To Secretary Conway on December 5, 1765, 
he wrote: "I am more and more grieved at the 
accounts of America. Where this spirit will end is 
not to be said. It is undoubtedly the most serious 
matter that ever came before parliament; it re- 
quires more deliberation, candour, and temper than 
I fear it will meet with." 2 Already, on October 3, 
the Privy Council had reported to him that the 
question was of too "high a nature" for its de- 
termination, and " proper only for the consideration 
of parliament." 3 

When after recess Parliament came together, 

1 Lecky, England, III., 362; Cobbett- Hansard, Pari. Hist., 
XVI., 133-137; Walpole, Memoirs of George III., II., 269-297. 

2 Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, I., 256. 
■ Almon, Prior Documents, 38. 


January 14, 1766, the king submitted to its "wis- 
dom" the papers relating to the Stamp Act in 
America. 1 Now began one of the most memorable 
debates in the constitutional history of England. 
The line of party division was speedily drawn. 
Repeal of the act was urged by Conway, Camden, 
and Pitt; while a powerful opposition was led by 
Mansfield, Bedford, and Grenville, around whom 
rallied the representatives of the Tory aristocracy, 
with the friends of the king, who resolutely opposed 
the repeal and carefully watched the proceedings of 
Parliament. The opposition rejected the distinc- 
tion between internal and external taxation, and 
strenuously asserted the legislative supremacy of 
Parliament over the colonies in all cases what- 
soever. Nugent insisted that the "honours and 
dignity of the kingdom obliged us to compel the 
execution of the stamp act, except the right was 
acknowledged, and the repeal solicited as a favour." 

Grenville severely censured the ministry for 
failing to give earlier notice of the commotions in 
America. These, he said, "began in July, and now 
we are in the middle of January; lately they were 
only occurrences, they are now grown to disturbances, 
to tumults and riots. I doubt they border on open 
rebellion; and if the doctrine I have heard this day," 
from Mr. Pitt, "be confirmed, I fear they will lose 
that name to take that of revolution. The govern- 

1 They are in Cobbett - Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 112, 
et seq.; and Almon, Prior Documents, 38-57. 



ment over them being dissolved, a revolution will 
take place in America. I cannot understand the 
difference between external and internal taxes. 
They are the same in effect, and only differ in name. 
That this kingdom has the sovereign, the supreme 
legislative power over America, is granted. It 
cannot be denied; and taxation is a part of that 
sovereign power. . . . Ungrateful people of America ! 
Bounties have been extended to them. . . . You have 
relaxed in their favour, the act of navigation, that 
palladium of the British commerce. " 1 

The most notable argument on this side was 
made by Chief- Justice Mansfield in the House of 
Lords. He spoke to the " question strictly as a 
matter of right." The colonies, he insisted, had 
always been subject to the supreme jurisdiction of 
Parliament. Duties have been laid upon them 
" affecting the very inmost parts of their commerce. 
. . . There can be no doubt, my lords, but that the 
inhabitants of the colonies are as much represented 
in parliament, as the greatest part of the people of 
England are represented; among nine millions of 
whom there are eight which have no votes in electing 
members of parliament. Every objection, there- 
fore, to the dependency of the colonies upon parlia- 
ment, which arises to it upon the ground of rep- 
resentation, goes to the whole present constitution 
of Great Britain; and I suppose it is not meant to 

1 Almon, Prior Documents, 60, 61; Cobbett-Hansard, Pari, 
Hist., XVI., 101-103. 


remodel that too." Like Grenville, he wholly re- 
jected the distinction between external and in- 
ternal taxation. "For nothing can be more clear 
than that a tax of ten or twenty per cent, laid upon 
tobacco, either in the ports of Virginia or London, 
is a duty laid upon the inland plantations of Vir- 
ginia, a hundred miles from the sea, wheresoever 
the tobacco may be grown." 1 

From the lawyer's stand-point the argument of 
Mansfield in support of the theory of virtual rep- 
resentation seems conclusive. 2 As a mere matter 
of strict legalism the colonists may have been rep- 
resented in Parliament and bound by its legislative 
acts, whether imposing external or internal taxation. 
Yet true statesmanship might render a very dif- 
ferent decision. Abstract justice might demand a 
new precedent to establish a new law. How else 
has the constitution of England been built up unless 
by thus yielding to the advancing needs of the 
people under changing conditions? Possibly that 
which seemed to transcend the imagination of 
Mansfield had actually come to pass? If, indeed, 
the existing constitution was really such as he de- 
scribed, had not the hour come for reorganization ? 

Pitt took a more statesman-like position. In his 
view the contention of the colonists was sustained 
by the spirit of the constitution. "The subject of 

Goodrich, British Eloquence, 148-151; Cobbett-Hansard, 
Pari. Hist., XVI., 172-177. 

2 Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors, V., 206 , 


this debate is of greater importance than ever en- 
gaged the attention of this house, that subject only 
excepted, when, nearly a century ago, it was a 
question whether you yourselves were to be bond 
or free. The manner in which this affair will be 
terminated will decide the judgment of posterity 
on the glory of this kingdom, and the wisdom of 
its government during the present reign." "Tax- 
ation," he declared, "is no part of the governing 
power"; and he denounced "the idea of a virtual 
representation of America" in the House of Com- 
mons as the "most contemptible that ever entered 
into the head of a man. . . . There is a plain dis- 
tinction between taxes levied for the purpose of 
raising revenue and duties imposed for the regula- 
tion of trade." Therefore, let the Stamp Act be 
repealed. "At the same time, let the sovereign 
authority of this country over the colonies be as- 
serted in as strong terms as can be devised, and be 
.made to extend to every point of legislation, that 
we may bind their trade, confine their manufactures, 
and exercise every power whatsoever, except that 
of taking their money out of their pockets without 
their consent." 1 

Thus Pitt enforced the argument already pre- 
sented by the American Congress and the American 
pamphleteers. "To what purpose," Otis had re- 

1 Speeches of Chatham (ed. of 1848), 70-79; Almon, Prior 
Documents, 57-59, 61-64; Almon, Anecdotes of Pitt, I., 424, et 
seq.; Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 97-101, 103-108. 


torted in reply to Soame Jenyns, " to ring everlast- 
ing changes to the colonists on the cases of Man- 
chester, Birmingham, and Sheffield, who return no 
members? If these now so considerable places are 
not represented, they ought to be! Besides, the 
counties in which those respectable abodes of tinkers, 
tinmen, and pedlars lie, return members; so do all 
the neighboring cities and boroughs. In the choice 
of the former, if they have no vote, they must 
naturally and necessarily have a great influence. I 
believe every gentleman of a landed estate, near a 
flourishing manufactory, will be careful enough of its 
interest." 1 

While the Congress was in session, precisely three 
months before Pitt's speech was delivered, Daniel 
Dulany had likewise exposed the fallacy of the 
argument from virtual representation, as consisting 
of " facts not true, and of conclusions inadmissible." 
For in Great Britain the interests "of the non- 
electors, the electors, and the representatives, are 
individually the same; to say nothing of the con- 
nection among neighbors, friends, and relatives. 
The security of the non-electors against oppression, 
is, that their oppression will fall also upon the 
electors and the representatives. The one can't 
be injured, and the other indemnified. Further, if 
the non-electors should not be taxed by the British 
parliament, they would not be taxed at all," a 
"solecism in the political system." On the other 

1 Otis, Considerations, 6-10, 51. 



hand, "the inhabitants of the colonies are, as such, 
incapable of being electors, the privilege of election 
being exercisable only in person, and therefore if 
every inhabitant of America had the requisite free- 
hold not one could vote, but on the supposition of 
ceasing to be an inhabitant of America, and be- 
coming a resident in Great Britain, a supposition 
which would be impertinent, because it shifts the 
question." Moreover, the colonies may be taxed 
by their own legislatures, so that " there would not 
necessarily be an iniquitous and absurd exemption, 
from their not being represented by the house of 
commons." 1 Dulany's able pamphlet, it is clear, 
had a direct influence on the form in which Pitt ex- 
pressed his views. 

The most dramatic incident of the struggle for 
repeal was the examination, February 13, 1766, of 
Benjamin Franklin before the committee of the 
House of Commons. Doubtless some of the more 
telling leading questions were artfully planned be- 
forehand; yet never were Franklin's ready wit, his 
shrewdness and common - sense shown to better 
advantage. His position was a delicate one; for 
if possible he had to defend the American cause 
without wounding the sensibilities of the British 
nation. When questioned, he said that the colo- 
nists already paid "many and very heavy taxes." 
In Pennsylvania these taxes were levied "for the 

1 Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Taxing the 
Colonies, 3-8. 


support of the civil and military establishments of 
the country, and to discharge the heavy debt con- 
tracted in the last war." "Are not all the people 
very able to pay those taxes ?" " No. The frontier 
counties, all along the continent, having been fre- 
quently ravaged by the enemy and, greatly im- 
poverished, are able to pay very little tax." There- 
fore ''our late tax laws do expressly favour those 
counties, excusing the sufferers." "Are not the 
colonies, from their circumstances, very able to pay 
the stamp duty?" "In my opinion there is not 
gold and silver enough in the colonies to pay the 
stamp duty for one year." Moreover, from the 
lack of post-roads the stamps could not every- 
where be distributed; and if there were roads, 
" sending for stamps by post would occasion an ex- 
pense of postage, amounting in many cases to much 
more than that of the stamps themselves." 

"Don't you know that the money arising from 
the stamps was all to be laid out in America?" 
" I know it is appropriated by the act to the Amer- 
ican service; but it will be spent in the conquered 
colonies, where the soldiers are; not in the colonies 
that pay it." " Do you think it right that America 
should be protected by this country and pay no 
part of the expense?" "That is not the case. The 
colonies raised, clothed, and paid, during the last 
war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent 
many millions." "Were not you reimbursed by 
parliament?" "We were only reimbursed what, in 



your opinion, we had advanced beyond our pro- 
portion, or beyond what might reasonably be ex- 
pected from us; and it was a very small part of 
what we spent. Pennsylvania in particular, dis- 
bursed about five hundred thousand pounds, and 
the reimbursements, in the whole, did not exceed 
sixty thousand pounds." 

"Does the distinction between internal and ex- 
ternal taxes exist in the words of the charter" of 
Pennsylvania? "No, I believe not." Then, said 
Charles Townshend, may they not on the same 
ground of Magna Charta and the petition of right 
"object to Parliament's right of external taxation?" 
Franklin's answer was prophetic. "They never 
have hitherto. Many arguments have been lately 
used here to show them that there is no difference, 
and that if you have no right to tax them internally, 
you have none to tax them externally, or make any 
other law to bind them. At present they do not 
reason so; but in time they may possibly be con- 
vinced by these arguments." 1 

The king was stubbornly opposed to the repeal; 
and to influence legislative action his opinion was 
made known by Lord Strange, Lord Bute, and 
others to members of Parliament. 2 Even Mans- 

1 For the examination, see Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), 
III., 409-450; Almon, Prior Documents, 64-81; or Cobbett- 
Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 137-159. 

2 Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, I., 250, 272, 292-294; 
Grenville Papers, III., 353-355, 3744 Walpole, Memoirs of 
George HI., II., 257, et seq., 288, 331. 


field stooped to give the dangerous advice "that, 
though it would be unconstitutional to endeavor 
by his majesty's name to carry questions in parlia- 
ment, yet where the lawful rights of the king and 
parliament were to be asserted and maintained, he 
thought the making his majesty's opinion in sup- 
port of those rights to be known, was very fit and 
becoming." 1 To frustrate this influence Rocking- 
ham acted with decision, obtaining the king's writ- 
ten consent to the passage of the bill. 2 

Accordingly, February 22, against Jenkinson's 
motion for a mere modification of the act, Conway, 
by a vote of 275 to 167, was given leave to bring 
in a bill for the total repeal of the Stamp Act. This 
was regarded as a decisive victory. Outside the 
Parliament house Grenville was hissed; while Con- 
way and Pitt received an ovation from the crowd. 
On March 4 the bill passed the Commons; March 
17, not without two formal protests, 3 it was carried 
in the Lords ; and on the next day the king's assent 
brought to an end a contest longer and more bitter 
than that aroused by any measure since 1689. At 
the same time, unfortunately, without a division 
in either house, the declaratory bill became a law. 
This act, which Pitt called a resolution "for Eng- 
land's right to do what the treasury pleased with 

1 Grenville Papers, III., 374. 

2 Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, h, 300, et seq. Cf. 
May, Const. Hist, of Eng., I., 43. 

3 Rogers, Protests of the Lords, II., 77-89; or Almon, Prior 
Documents, 81-89. 



three millions of freemen," 1 not only asserts that 
the king and Parliament have " full power and au- 
thority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force 
and validity to bind the colonies and people of 
America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, 
in all cases whatsoever"; but also that all resolu- 
tions or proceedings in the colonies denying such 
power are "utterly null and void." 2 

1 Chatham Correspondence, II., 364, 365. 
1 6 George III., chap. xii. 

VOL. VIII.— 13 




THE declaratory act has been represented as the 
price paid by a weak and divided ministry for 
the repeal of the stamp tax — as a solace to the 
offended pride and dignity of the British Parliament. 
This view was supported in the debate on the 
motion to repeal the act in 1777 ; 1 and there is other 
evidence to sustain it. If such, indeed, be the 
truth, it shows only more clearly how serious was 
the dilemma in which the short-sighted policy of 
Grenville had involved the government. Events 
were soon to prove that the price paid was very 
dear. For the moment the colonists united in 
spontaneous thank-offering for the boon of justice 
which had been granted them. " The repeal of the 
stamp act," wrote John Adams, "has hushed into 
silence almost every popular clamor, and com' 
posed every wave of popular disorder into a smooth 
and peaceful calm." 2 The Sons of Liberty ceased 
to meet. No one thought of separation. Nothing 

1 Cobbett- Hansard, Pari. Hist., XIX., 563 et seq. 

2 Adams, Works, II., 203. 




was needed but a moderately wise policy on the 
part of the home government to hold the affectionate 
allegiance of the American people. "A feeling of 
real and genuine loyalty to the mother-country ap- 
pears to have at this time existed in the colonies, 
though it required much skill to maintain it." 1 

Such skill was utterly lacking. The rejoicings 
of the colonies were short-lived. From the outset 
some among them had favored united opposition 
to the declaratory act; 2 and other grounds for 
the revival of discontent were not wanting. First 
among these was the attempted enforcement of the 
billeting or mutiny act, which had been renewed 
under the Rockingham administration. The clause 
requiring the colonial assemblies to make provision 
for quartering the king's troops was held to be un- 
constitutional, because a command was thus laid 
by one legislative body upon another; and unjust, 
since the whole burden would fall upon the colonies 
where the army chanced to be located. 

Resistance was first made in New York, then the 
headquarters of the British force in America. The 
requisition for supplies made by the general through 
the governor was granted only in part by the 
provincial assembly, because some of the articles 
demanded were such as in England were not pro- 
vided for troops when in barracks. The bill making 
partial provision was approved by Sir Henry Moore, 

1 Lecky, England, III., 373. 

2 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 202, and n. 2. 


the governor, although in his letter to the ministry 
he did not concede the justice of the assembly's 
plea. 1 He significantly added, "My Message is 
treated merely as a Requisition made here and 
they have carefully avoided the least mention of 
the act on which it is founded, and it is my opinion 
that every act of Parliament, when not backed by a 
sufficient Power to enforce it will meet with the 
same Fate." In reply to the governor's report, 
Shelburne, then secretary of state, announced that 
the king expected obedience to the act in its full 
extent and meaning; thus needlessly laying up 
ample store of future trouble. The assembly re- 
fused to comply, and "in their answer to the gov- 
ernor's speech to them, called in question the 
authority of parliament." The result was the sus- 
pension of the assembly by the Townshend act, 
presently to be considered. 

Massachusetts was following the example of New 
York. A company of artillery, recently arrived 
in Boston, had been lodged in the barracks at 
Castle William, and, according to custom, Governor 
Bernard, with the advice of the council, had issued 
a warrant on the treasury to pay the expense of 
providing it with fire and candles. At the January 
session, 1767, the house of representatives ex- 
pressed their resentment at this proceeding. The 
governor was asked "whether any provision has 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 168; N. Y. Docs. Rel. 
to Col. Hist., VII., 831. 



been made, at the expense of this government, for 
his Majesty's troops lately arrived in this harbor, 
and by whom?" and whether his "Excellency has 
reason to expect the arrival of any more to be 
quartered in this province?" In his answer Ber- 
nard alleged that provision for the artillery had 
been made in pursuance of the late billeting act of 
Parliament, and that he had " received no advice 
whatever of any other troops being quartered in 
this province." Whereupon the house promptly 
responded " that it is by virtue of the royal charter 
alone, that the Governor and Council have any au- 
thority to issue money out of the treasury, and that 
only according to such acts as are, or may be, in 
force within this province." 

At the same time the house claimed for itself " the 
privilege of originating, granting, and disposing of 
taxes"; and expressed "concern that an act of 
Parliament should yet be in being, which appears 
to us to be as real a grievance" as the stamp tax, 
"which so justly alarmed the continent." In reply 
the governor, shifting his ground, claimed that his 
course was fully "justified not only by the usage 
of this government, but by the authority of the 
General Court itself";. 1 and so the incident was al- 
lowed to drop. 

Another measure of the British government, 
reasonable and just in itself, though impolitic, was 
destined, partly through the manner of its execu- 

1 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 105-108. 


tion, to become a source of irritation. Under au- 
thority of a resolution of the House of Commons, 
Secretary Conway in a circular letter asked the co- 
lonial assemblies to compensate the sufferers for 
the property destroyed in the Stamp Act riots. 
In most cases the colonies were slow in respond 
ing. The request was looked upon as unwarranted 
interference by Parliament: it was insisted that 
indemnity, if granted, should be the free and 
spontaneous act of the people through their own 
pr eresentatives . 

In Massachusetts, notably, resistance was pro- 
voked through the unwise conduct of the governor. 
Bernard was honest and well-meaning, but short- 
sighted in policy and arrogant in manner. He was 
as indiscreet in his acts as he was violent in his 
speeches. Earlier he had sympathized with the 
popular cause. He had opposed the Sugar Act as 
unjust and the Stamp Act as inexpedient, while 
maintaining in principle the right of parliamentary 
taxation. But in his confidential correspondence 
with the ministry he zealously urged a remodelling 
of the colonial charters in favor of a uniform and 
more centralized type of government; and his in- 
judicious course in the present crisis proved him 
entirely unfit for his post. 

At the meeting of the general court on May 29, 
1766, when the repeal of the Stamp Act was an- 
nounced, Bernard managed to get into a bitter 
quarrel with the house. First he vetoed the choice 




of James Otis as speaker; then the house declined 
to re-elect to the council the lieutenant-governor, 
the secretary, the attorney-general, and one of the 
judges of the superior court; in revenge the governor 
negatived the choice of six persons belonging to 
the popular party. Thus he put himself thoroughly 
in the wrong ; for the house had the clearest right to 
ignore the officers of the crown in the choice of 
councillors, if it saw fit. According to Lieutenant- 
Governor Hutchinson, who was himself thus re- 
jected, Bernard "had equal right to declare his 
disapprobation of the persons elected. . . . Governors, 
to avoid giving offence, had, from disuse, almost lost 
their right of negativing the council. The house 
had kept up their right by constant use, though 
never by making so great a change at once, except 
in one instance, at the time of the land bank." 1 

The house did not complain of the governor's 
exercise of his legal authority; but Bernard, by 
impugning his adversaries' motives, delivered him- 
self into their hands. He petulantly accused them 
of attacking the government "in form"; of having 
the "prof est intention to deprive it of its best 
and most able servants, whose only crime is their 
fidelity to the Crown" ; and, referring to his vetoes, 
he declared himself " obliged to exercise every legal 
and constitutional power to maintain the king's 
authority against this ill judged and ill timed op- 
pugnation of it." These and similar indiscreet 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III.; 149. 


utterances in his speech gave the house a decided 
advantage, of which in its reply it made unsparing 
use. 1 

A few days later the governor took another false 
step. On June 3, in imperious tone, he placed 
before the council and house what he styled the 
"requisition" for compensation, "based on a resolu- 
tion of the house of commons " ; thus using the word 
which both the Commons, after debate, and Con- 
way, in his letter, had carefully avoided. 2 "The au- 
thority with which it is introduced," he said, " should 
preclude all disputation about complying with it." 
At the same time, in terms which were construed 
as a threat to take away the charter, he attacked 
the house for excluding Hutchinson and the other 
officials from the council. Very naturally the house 
declined to consider the requisition before it had 
consulted the towns; and not until the next gen- 
eral court in November was a bill finally passed, 
"granting compensation to the sufferers, and gen- 
eral pardon, indemnity, and oblivion to the of- 
fenders, in the late times." 3 Even the fines already 
paid by the latter were returned. It is, perhaps, not 
surprising that the bill was vetoed by the king ; but 
not before the money had been paid in accordance 
with its provisions. These incidents are here dwelt 

1 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 75-81. Cf. Hutchinson, Hist, 
of Mass. Bay, III., 149, 150. 

2 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 219. 

3 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 81-84, 93-98, 100. 



upon, because such unseemly bickerings, often 
provoked by the folly of the royal governors, had 
much to do with the development of revolutionary 

Meantime, in England, events of the greatest im- 
portance for the colonies were taking place. Al- 
ready, in July, 1766, the feeble administration of 
Rockingham had fallen. Grafton became nominal 
head of the new ministry; while its real head was 
Pitt, who, to the disappointment of his friends 
throughout the world, presently entered the House 
of Lords as Earl of Chatham. To Conway was 
given the leadership of the Commons; Shelburne 
took charge of colonial affairs; Camden became 
lord chancellor; and, against the judgment of Pitt, 
Charles Townshend was intrusted with the ex- 
chequer. The administration soon proved itself to 
be weak and disunited. Pitt, enfeebled by disease 
and depressed by the consciousness of waning pop- 
ularity due to his acceptance of a peerage, soon 
ceased to take active part in public business. In 
October he retired to Bath to try the virtue of its 
healing waters. At once Charles Townshend came 
forward to seize the leadership of the ministry. 
"From this time," admits Lecky, "the English 
government of America is little more than a series 
of deplorable blunders." 1 

January 26, 1767, Grenville moved that "Amer- 
ica, like Ireland, should support an establishment of 

1 Lecky, England, III., 379. 


her own." 1 The burden, he said, would be about 
£400,000, or a sum nearly equal to one shilling in 
the pound of the land tax. In the debate which 
ensued, Townshend declared that " administration 
has applied its attention to give relief to Great 
Britain from bearing the whole expense of secur- 
ing, defending, and protecting America and the 
West India islands; I shall bring into the house 
some propositions that I hope may tend, in time, 
to ease the people of England upon this head, 
and yet not be heavy in any manner upon the 
people in the colonies. I know the mode by which 
a revenue may be drawn from America with- 
out offence." Continuing, he said he was still a 
firm advocate of the stamp tax ; that he laughed at 
the "absurd distinction" between internal and ex- 
ternal taxes, a distinction ' ' ridiculous in the opin- 
ion of everybody except the Americans"; and he 
pledged himself to find a revenue nearly sufficient 
for the military expenses in America. 2 The minis- 
ters were astonished at this bold usurpation of lead- 
ership. Not only was Townshend's pledge given 
without knowledge of the cabinet, but in opposition 
to the "known decision of all of its members." Yet 
in the absence of Chatham neither Grafton nor any 
one else had sufficient authority to demand the dis- 
missal of the insubordinate minister. 3 

1 Lecky, England, III., 380. 

2 Chatham Correspondence, III., 17S, 179, 182-188; Gren- 
ville Papers, IV., 211, 222. Cf. Bancroft, United States (ed.of 
1885), III., 338. 3 Lecky, England, III., 381. 



Soon after this, on February 27, the government 
was defeated on an important measure. Acting 
on the suggestion of Grenville already mentioned, 
the land tax was reduced by one shilling in the 
pound; thus in effect making another attempt to 
secure a revenue from America inevitable. Chatham 
was too ill to cause the removal of Townshend, and 
from this time onward practically ceased to take any 
part in the cabinet councils. 

The chancellor of the exchequer now dominated 
the ministry; and so he proceeded to take the first 
step in the redemption of his pledge. In May, 
1767, he secured the enactment of three laws; by 
one the New York assembly was suspended until it 
should comply with the mutiny act; by another a 
board of commissioners of the customs, with large 
powers, was established in America to administer 
the acts of trade ; while a third laid an import duty 
on glass, red and white lead, paper, and tea. 1 It 
was expected that this tax would produce about 
£40,000, to be expended under the king's sign- 
manual in providing salaries for the royal judges 
and governors in America. By this revenue act 
writs of assistance were formally legalized ; and the 
drawback of the import duty hitherto allowed the 
East India Company on the re-exportation of china 
and earthenware to America was discontinued. 
This was offset by granting a drawback on re- 
exportation of the entire duty paid in England on 

1 7 George III., chaps, xli., xlvi., lix. 


coffee and cocoa produced in America; and by a 
separate act 1 a similar drawback for five years 
was granted on the re-exportation of tea from 
England to Ireland or the colonies. 

Townshend professed to believe that the Amer- 
icans would submit to his revenue law, because, un- 
like the Stamp Act, it established an "external" 
tax on imports. The result soon showed how fatally 
he deceived himself. The new measure was clearly 
more dangerous than the old. Like the latter, it 
created a tax for revenue ; but now the revenue was 
to be used in giving the crown complete control 
of the colonial governors and the colonial judges. 
The assemblies would no longer have any check 
upon them. So long as the abuse existed of appoint- 
ing the provincial judges during the king's pleasure, 
to make them solely dependent upon the crown for 
their salaries would be to invite corruption and 
tyranny ; and the evils sure to arise from the similar 
position of the royal governors would be nearly as 

Moreover, the new policy was inaugurated just 
after the colonists were elated by a signal victory 
in the repeal of the Stamp Act. A notable change 
was taking place in their attitude regarding the 
authority of Parliament. Many of the leaders no 
longer drew the line at internal taxation for revenue. 
Already in the debate on the request for indemnity, 
Joseph Hawley of Massachusetts, had won the 

1 7 George III., chap. lvi. 


approval of Otis by declaring that Parliament " has 
no right to legislate for us." From this time on- 
ward the popular cry of " No representation, no 
taxation" was rapidly changed for "No representa- 
tion, no legislation." 1 

Everywhere in the colonies the Townshend acts 
suspending the functions of the New York assembly 
and imposing a tax for revenue were regarded as 
unconstitutional. Once more the continent was 
roused to discussion: non-importation agreements 
were again signed; resolutions, addresses, and me- 
morials were again prepared; the printing-press 
became active. But in the outset the new move- 
ment was ominously free from violence; the people 
were learning the value of self-restraint. November 
20, when the revenue act was to take effect, passed 
quietly away. 

In this crisis the best expression of popular senti- 
ment came from John Dickinson, of Pennsylvania. 
In the Farmer's Letters, published before the close of 
1767, he endeavored "to convince the people of 
these colonies, that they are, at this moment, ex- 
posed to the most imminent dangers ; and to persuade 
them, immediately, vigorously, and unanimously, to 
exert themselves, in the most firm but most peace- 
able manner, for obtaining relief." Liberty's cause 
is "of too much dignity, to be sullied by turbulence 
and tumult. It ought to be maintained in a manner 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 234; Lecky, Eng- 
land, III., 374. 

1 t? / 


suitable to her nature. Those who engage in it 
should breathe a sedate yet fervent spirit, animat- 
ing them to actions of prudence, justice, modesty, 
bravery, humanity, and magnanimity." He repu- 
diates the thought of independence. "Let us be- 
have like dutiful children, who have received un- 
merited blows from a beloved parent"; but "let 
these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds: 
that we cannot be happy, without being free; that 
we cannot be free, without being secure in ou 
property ; that we cannot be secure in our property, 
if, without our consent, others may, as by right, 
take it away; that taxes imposed on us by parlia- 
ment, do thus take it away." "Great Britain 
claims and exercises the right to prohibit manu- 
factures in America. Once admit that she may lay 
duties upon her exportations to us, for the purpose 
of levying money on us only, she then will have 
nothing to do but to lay those duties on the articles 
which she prohibits us to manufacture, and the 
tragedy of American liberty is finished." 1 

Organized action against the new measures was 
first taken in Massachusetts. October 28, 1767, the 
Boston town - meeting 2 renewed the non- importa- 
tion agreement, and its proceedings were published 
in the newspapers under the heading, "Save your 

1 Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer, in his Political Writings, 
I., 167-173, 275. Cf. Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 237-240. 

2 Boston Town Records, 1158-1769, 220; Frothingham, Ris 
of the Republic, 209. 


money, and you save your country." The leading 
spirit in the assembly, which came together Decem- 
ber 30, was its clerk, Samuel Adams. In January, 
1768, the house, after long discussion, adopted a 
letter to DeBerdt, the colonial agent, written by 
Adams, and intended to be placed before the min- 
istry. Letters were also sent to Chatham, Cam- 
den, Rockingham, and others, while a loyal petition 
was presented to the king. In these documents 
the old arguments against parliamentary taxation 
were renewed, and the recent acts were character- 
ized as unjust and unconstitutional. February 11, 
1768, a circular letter to the other assemblies on the 
continent was adopted. In this letter, which, like 
the petition to the king, was drawn by Samuel 
Adams, the house gave an account of its own action, 
and suggested the need of harmony " upon so deli- 
cate a point." 1 All these papers are admirable 
in form and very moderate in tone. The general 
supremacy of Parliament under the constitution is 
frankly admitted; all thought of independence is 
disclaimed; while the dangerous tendency of the 
recent legislation is pointed out. 

The circular letter drew forth sympathetic re- 
plies from the assemblies of New Hampshire, Vir- 
ginia, New Jersey, and Connecticut, with cordial 
letters from the speakers of the houses of Georgia, 
South Carolina, and Rhode Island. The action of 
Virginia is noteworthy. Not only was the course 

1 MacDonald, Select Charters, 330-334. 


taken by Massachusetts approved, but her example 
was imitated in a circular letter to the other colonies 
calling upon them to unite in her petition for a 
redress of grievances. 1 

September 4, 1767, that brilliant but rash and 
shallow politician, Charles Townshend, died, " leav- 
ing to his successors the legacy of his disastrous 
policy in America, but having achieved absolutely 
nothing to justify the extraordinary reputation he 
possessed among his contemporaries." 2 His place 
as chancellor of the exchequer was taken by Lord 
North, and a few months later Lord Hillsborough 
was placed in charge of the new office of secretary 
of state for the colonies. With these and some 
other changes, the government came into the hands 
of Bedford's friends, who were bent on enforcing the 
supremacy of Parliament. 

Royal officials in America represented the colonists 
as aiming at independence, and their opposition 
to the Townshend acts as riotous violations of the 
law. In particular the new commissioners of cus- 
toms wrote to the lords of the treasury that a de- 
sign had been formed in Boston to force them, on 
March 18, the anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp 
Act, to renounce their commissions. " The governor 
and magistracy," they asserted, "have not the least 
authority or power in this place. We depend on 
the favor of the mob for our protection. We cannot 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 213. 
1 Lecky, England, III., 387. 




answer for our security for a day, much less will it 
be in our power to carry the revenue laws into 
effect." Moreover, they applied directly to the 
commander at Halifax for an armed force. 1 

The circular letter of the Massachusetts house 
came before Hillsborough April 15, 1768, while he 
was angered by these false reports. At once he laid 
it before the cabinet. On the 21st, in the king's 
name he sent a letter to the governor of each of the 
twelve other colonies, enclosing the circular, which 
was described as "of a most dangerous and factious 
tendency," likely "to promote an unwarrantable 
combination, and to excite open opposition to par- 
liament," ordering him to exert his "utmost in- 
fluence to prevail upon the assembly" to take "no 
notice of it, which will be treating it with the con- 
tempt it deserves. If they give any countenance 
to this seditious paper, it will be your duty to 
prevent any proceedings upon it by an immedi- 
ate prorogation or dissolution." The next day he 
wrote to Bernard, commanding him to "require 
of the house of representatives, in his majesty's 
name, to rescind the resolution which gave birth to 
the circular letter of the speaker, and to declare 
their disapprobation of that rash and hasty pro- 
ceeding. " 3 In effect, through these ill-advised orders 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 280; Memorial of 
the Commissioners, March 28, 1768. 

2 For Hillsborough's letters, see Almon, Prior Documents, 203- 
205, 220. 

VOL. vin. — 14 


the minister recklessly sent forth a challenge to 
controversy whose acceptance a sensitive and self- 
respecting people could hardly avoid. Indeed, from 
this moment the march of events tends straight 
towards the dissolution of the empire. 

The royal requisition was placed by Bernard be- 
fore the assembly June 21. The discussion, which 
lasted nine days, was opened by James Otis. He 
showed the absurdity of requiring the house to 
rescind the resolution of a preceding assembly 
which had already been executed. "When Lord 
Hillsborough knows that we will not rescind our 
acts," he exclaimed, " he should apply to parliament 
to rescind theirs. Let Britain rescind her measures, 
or the colonies are lost to her forever." 1 On June 
30, in secret session, the house refused to rescind by 
a vote of 92 to 17. At the same time, in a letter 
to Hillsborough it "humbly" relies "on the royal 
clemency, that to petition his Majesty will not be 
deemed by him to be inconsistent with a respect 
to the British constitution, as settled at the rev- 
olution"; or that acquainting "their fellow sub- 
jects ... of their having done so, ... would not 
be discountenanced ... as a measure of an in- 
flamatory nature." In reply to Bernard's message 
the house defended its course and professed rev- 
erence for both Parliament and the king. 2 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 217; Bernard, Letters, 
June 28, July 16. 

2 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 147-150, 155, 156. 




The response of America to the letter of Hills- 
borough requiring the assemblies to treat the Mas- 
sachusetts circular with contempt was hardly what 
he expected, but it was emphatic and harmonious. 
Everywhere the new colonial policy excited indig- 
nant remonstrance. "The people manifested their 
approval of the doings of their representatives' by 
votes of thanks, by joyful demonstrations, and re- 
elections. County meetings and town meetings 
called for union, for a continuance of correspondence, 
and for a general congress — in some instances towns 
pledging life and fortune in support of their Amer- 
ican brethren." 1 

Throughout the colonies, where any action was 
taken, the assemblies refused to obey the demands 
of the governors for enforcement of Hillsborough's 
requisition. On the contrary, the action of Massa- 
chusetts was commended; and sometimes petitions 
to the king and remonstrances to the Commons were 
drawn up. The reply of the assembly of Maryland 
to the arrogant message of Governor Sharpe gives 
typical expression to the popular feeling. "What 
we shall do upon this occasion, or whether in con- 
sequence of that Letter we shall do anything, it 
is not our present business to communicate to your 
Excellency; but of this be pleased to be assured, that 
we cannot be prevailed on to take no notice of, or 
treat with the least degree of contempt, a letter so 
expressive of duty and loyalty to the sovereign, and 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 227, and n. 3. 


so replete with just principles of liberty; and your 
Excellency may depend that, whenever we appre- 
hend the rights of the people to be affected, we shall 
not fail boldly to assert and steadily endeavor to 
maintain and support them, always remembering, 
what we could wish never to forget, that by the 
bill of rights it is declared, 'That it is the right of 
the subject to petition the king, and all commit- 
ments and prosecutions for such petitioning are 
illegal." 11 

Thus the first result of the Townshend legislation 
was the development of American public opinion. 
The ultimate results, as will presently appear, were 
first mob-violence and then revolution. 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 223. 



(i 768-1 77o) 

IN response to the complaints of Bernard and the 
commissioners, the ministry had resolved on the 
despatch of a military force. June 8, 1 768, Gage was 
commanded to send troops to Boston; the admir- 
alty was directed to station several armed vessels in 
the harbor; and orders were given that Castle 
William should be occupied by the king's troops. 
Before this the Romney, a fifty-gun ship, had been 
anchored in the harbor. The captain began to 
impress American seamen into his service, and one 
of the impressed men was rescued by the people. 
On the same day, June 10, John Hancock's sloop 
Liberty arrived in Boston laden with wines from 
Madeira. Attempting to inspect the cargo, the 
collector was seized by the crew and locked on 
board while contraband goods were landed and a 
false entry made at the custom-house. After his 
release the vessel was seized for the fraudulent 
entry, and, to prevent a rescue, moored under 
the guns of the Romney, 
These events led to a riot in which the houses of 



the controller and an inspector of customs were 
damaged; and a boat belonging to the former was 
burned on the common. The custom-house officers 
fled to the Romney; and the next day, informing 
Bernard that the "honor of the crown would be 
hazarded by their return to Boston," they withdrew 
to Castle William. On the 14th the town-meeting 
presented an address to Bernard, alleging that 
"menaces have been thrown out, fit only for bar- 
barians"; and declaring that to "contend with the 
parent state" is "the most shocking and dreadful 
extremity; but tamely to relinquish the only secu- 
rity we and our posterity retain of the enjoyment of 
our lives and properties, without one struggle, is so 
humiliating and base, that we cannot support the 
reflection. We apprehend, sir, that it is at your 
option, in your power, and we would hope in your 
inclination, to prevent this distressed and justly 
incensed people from effecting too much, and from 
the shame and reproach of attempting too little." 
Furthermore, they asked the governor to order the 
removal of the Romney from the harbor. 1 Bernard 
gave a conciliatory answer, but declined to send 
away the man-of-war as being a matter beyond his 

There were not wanting other signs of the rise 
of a dangerous spirit. Already in March a cargo 
of wine was landed in the night and boldly carted 
through the streets of Boston, "under a guard of 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 488. 


thirty or forty stout fellows, armed with bludgeons ; 
and, though it was notorious to the greatest part of 
the town, no officer of the customs thought fit to 
attempt a seizure; nor," adds Hutchinson, "is it 
probable that he could have succeeded, if he had 
attempted it." 1 Elsewhere similar events were 
taking place. At Providence a custom-house officer 
was tarred and feathered. In Newport a citizen 
was killed in a quarrel with the midshipmen of a 
war vessel ; and later a revenue-cutter was burned 
at the dock. 2 

Worse things were about to follow. The Town- 
shend acts and the unwise methods of enforcing 
obedience were only beginning to bear their evil 
fruit. The news of the riot in Boston incensed the 
ministry. A memorial of the commissioners de- 
clared that "there had been a long concerted and 
extensive plan of resistance to the authority of 
Great Britain; that the people of Boston had hast- 
ened to acts of violence sooner than was intended ; 
that nothing but the immediate exertion of military 
power could prevent an open revolt of the town, 
which would probably spread throughout the prov- 
inces." 3 The suggestion was at once acted upon, 
and two additional regiments were sent to Boston 
from Ireland. 

The immediate results were ominous of an im- 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 188. 

2 Arnold, Rhode Island, II., 2S8, 294, 297. 

3 Quoted from Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 297. 


pending struggle. The reports that the army was 
to be employed to punish Boston and coerce the dis- 
obedient province caused great popular excitement. 
September 12, 1768, a town-meeting assembled in 
Faneuil Hall. It was resolved that " the inhabitants 
of the town of Boston will, at the utmost peril of 
their lives and fortunes, maintain and defend their 
rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities"; and it 
was declared that " money could not be levied, nor 
a standing army be kept up in the province, but 
by their own free consent." A day was named for 
fasting and prayer, and threats of repelling force 
by force were made. "There are your arms," said 
Otis, moderator of the meeting, pointing to the 
town's stock of muskets lying in boxes upon the 
floor: ' ' when an attempt is made against your liber- 
ties, they will be delivered." By a great majority 
a resolution was adopted calling upon the inhabi- 
tants to provide themselves with arms, " as there is 
apprehension in the minds of many of an approach- 
ing war with France." 1 

Even more significant action was taken. Ber- 
nard, while admitting that troops were expected, 
had refused to grant the request of the meeting that 
he should summon the assembly, to take such 
measures "for the preservation of their valuable 
civil and religious rights and privileges, now in 
precarious situation, as they in their wisdom may 
think proper." 2 The people now disclosed their 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 205. 1 Ibid., 204. 



capacity for self-help, anticipating the method for se- 
curing united action and party organization, which 
soon was to be so effectively employed. Through 
the selectmen a circular letter 1 was sent out call- 
ing a convention of all the towns of the province. 
Delegates from ninety-six places responded. The 
governor refused to receive their petition, which dis- 
claimed any pretence to " authoritative or govern- 
mental acts," and requested him to call the assembly. 
The next day he sent word that " summoning such 
a meeting was an offence of a very high nature"; 
admonished "them instantly to separate"; and as- 
sured them that those who persisted in usurping the 
king's sovereignty over the province ' 'would repent 
of their rashness." 2 The convention defended itself 
against the charge of illegal or criminal action, drew 
up a statement of grievances, and adjourned after 
a six days' session. 

On the day when the convention adjourned 
(September 28) two regiments of the line, with 
artillery, arrived from Halifax. Three days later, 
under the guns of eight men - of - war, they were 
landed without opposition. "Each soldier having 
received sixteen rounds of shot, they marched, with 
drums beating, fifes playing, and colors flying, 
through the streets, and by four in the afternoon 
they paraded on Boston common." 3 At first one 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 492, 493. 

2 Ibid., 210. 

3 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 312. 


regiment was encamped on the common; and the 
other, after some altercation, found shelter in 
Faneuil Hall and the Town House. The com- 
mander demanded permanent quarters and supplies 
under the billeting act; but, insisting on a strict 
construction of the law, both the provincial council 
and the selectmen refused to comply so long as 
there was room for the troops in the barracks at 
the castle. In the end, after much squabbling and 
irritation, General Gage, who had come from New 
York to settle the controversy, 11 found it necessary 
to hire houses for the troops, which were obtained 
with difficulty, and to procure articles required by 
act of parliament at the charge of the crown.' ' 1 

If the ministry was rash in appealing to military 
force, the Parliament which met in December — 
several months after it was known in England that 
Massachusetts had refused to rescind — took a still 
more hazardous step. Both houses censured the 
assembly for its course, condemned the non-im- 
portation agreements, and declared that the calling 
of the convention by the selectmen of Boston 
showed a design to set up independence. At the 
same time an address 2 was adopted expressing 
"sincere satisfaction in the measures" taken by the 
government, giving assurance of future support of 
like measures, and suggesting that the names of the 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 215. 

2 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 476-487; Cavendish, 
Debates, I., 192-194. 


more active agitators in America should be sent to 
one of the secretaries of state. Parliament also 
advised that an old statute of Henry VIII., 1 which 
empowered the government to bring to England 
for trial prisoners accused of treason outside the 
kingdom, should be put in force, a measure which, 
says the English historian Lecky, " added a new and 
very serious item to the long list of colonial griev- 
ances. ... By virtue of an obsolete law, passed in 
one of the darkest periods of English history and 
at a time when England possessed not a single 
colony, any colonist who was designated by the 
governor as a traitor might be carried three thousand 
miles from his home, from his witnesses, from the 
scene of his alleged crime." 2 In fact, we have now 
reached the crisis of the impending revolution ; and 
whatever the faults of American demagogues may 
have been, the chief responsibility for the violence 
which followed rests on the shoulders of the in- 
fatuated king and his docile servants. 

Once more the American people were put on the 
defensive; but now they were challenged to protect 
their dearest personal as well as their political rights. 
In the press the misrepresentations of the placemen 
were indignantly denounced. "It is enough to 
make a man's bones crack," said a writer in a Boston 
journal, "that, when the manly, fair, dispassionate 
arguments of the colonists in support of their rights 
and privileges remain totally unanswered, every 

1 35 Henry VIII., chap. ii. 2 Lecky, England, III., 394, 395. 


mushroom upstart and petty officer of the revenue 
should cry out rebels and traitors." 1 

The first protest came from Virginia, which the 
ministry had refrained from punishing, apparently 
with the view of dividing the colonial opposition. 
A new governor, Lord Botetourt — sensible, indus- 
trious, and in the main just — had recently arrived 
in the province. Among the burgesses at this time 
were Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas 
Jefferson who sat for the first time. It was under- 
stood that the governor desired that silence on po- 
litical questions should be observed; 2 but this was 
by no means the purpose of the house. It adopted 
a series of resolves protesting against the ministerial 
policy, and in particular beseeching the king, "as 
the father of his people however remote from the 
seat of his empire, to quiet the minds of his loyal 
subjects of this colony, and to avert from them those 
dangers and miseries which will ensue from the 
seizing and carrying beyond sea any person residing 
in America, suspected of any crime whatsoever, to 
be tried in any other manner than by the ancient 
and long established course of proceeding." 3 These 
resolutions the speaker was ordered to send to the 
several assemblies on the continent, asking their 
concurrence. The members of the house, when it 
was dissolved by Lord Botetourt, retired to a private 

1 Boston Gazette, June 26, 1769. 

2 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 235. 
8 MacDonald, Select Charters, 334, 335. 



residence, where they signed a non - importation 
agreement, probably drafted by George Mason. 1 
Like agreements were signed throughout the colo- 
nies, and the Virginia resolves or similar declarations 
were adopted by all the assemblies. 

Events in Massachusetts presaged a struggle, for 
the way of compromise was steadily closing. Various 
incidents show how the popular anger was kept 
alive. Under orders from Hillsborough, evidence 
was being collected by the governor and other 
crown officers to enable them to send offenders to 
England for trial under the act of Henry VIII. 
Affidavits against Samuel Adams, "sworn to be- 
fore Hutchinson, were sent to England, to prove 
him fit to be transported." 2 This did not increase 
Bernard's popularity; and the publication in April, 
1769, of some of his letters to the ministry in the 
preceding November and December not only " caused 
an inconceivable alienation" between him and the 
council, "but enraged a great part of the province, 
who considered the cause of the council as their 
own. 3 

A long letter signed by eleven members of the 
council was sent to Hillsborough, charging the 
governor with "want of candor, with indecent, 
illiberal, and most abusive treatment of them," with 

1 Washington, Works (Ford's ed.), II., 367, n.\ Burk, Hist, of 
Virginia., III., 345- 

2 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 332. 

8 Hutchinson, Hist, of Massachusetts Bay, III., 226. 


"aiming at exorbitant and uncontrollable power, 
with a design to represent things in the worst light, 
with unmanly dissimulation, and with untruth." 1 
A second letter was sent, criticising Bernard for 
recommending, contrary to the charter, that a 
council be appointed by royal mandamus, and ac- 
cusing him of gross misrepresentations. 2 

Later the house petitioned for his recall, and in 
July he went to England, leaving the government 
in the hands of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson. 

Quartering troops in Boston and surrounding the 
town with an armed fleet did not prove an effective 
means of reconciliation; but more than two years 
passed away without riot or serious collision. The 
soldiers had nothing to do; for in the absence of 
martial law they could only be employed on call of 
a civil magistrate. Yet they were hated and ostra- 
cized by the people, and, under the circumstances, 
it is not at all surprising that their "simple pres- 
ence" was "treated as an intolerable grievance. " 3 
Unquestionably the officers and the men found 
themselves in a trying position; and on the whole 
they acted with prudence and self-control. They 
were often abused and insulted, scurrilous attacks 
upon them were made in the newspapers, and fre- 
quent affrays between the soldiers and townsmen 
took place. 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Massachusetts Bay, III., 228. 

2 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 165, 

3 Lecky, England, III., 393. 



" Little matters, being novelties, soon caused great 
uneasiness. Though the people had been used to 
answer to the call of the town watch in the night, 
yet they did not like to answer to the frequent calls 
of the centinels posted at the barracks, and at the 
gates of the principal officers . . . ; and either a re- 
fusal to answer, or an answer accompanied with 
irritating language, endangered the peace of the 
town" ; so the officers "relaxed the rigid rules of the 
army; and, at most places, no challenge was made." 
Moreover, the noise of fifes and drums on Sunday 
drew forth a petition from the selectmen asking the 
general to "dispense with the band." 1 During the 
winter of 1769 feeling became more tense. The two 
regiments, says Hutchinson, " were a continual eye- 
sore to the inhabitants," and affrays became more 

The long-delayed collision approached on March 2, 
1770, when a fight took place between some rope- 
makers and soldiers of the 29th Regiment, elicit- 
ing a letter of complaint from the commander 
to the lieutenant-governor. March 5 occurred a 
tragedy which had much influence in hastening the 
Revolution. It was an evening of unusual excite- 
ment; according to Hutchinson the people were 
called into the streets by a false alarm of fire, and 
bands of soldiers were running about. Whether 
the fracas of the 2d had anything to do with what 
followed is not clear. A sentinel at the custom- 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Massachusetts Bay, III., 224, 270 et seq. 


house was insulted and pelted by the crowd. Ac- 
cording to some accounts he had struck a boy 
earlier in the evening. At his call a corporal and a 
squad of six men, commanded by Captain Preston, 
came to his aid. These were surrounded by fifty 
or sixty men and boys, some of them carrying 
bludgeons, shouting, "Cowardly rascals, lobsters, 
bloody-backs," and daring them to shoot. A 
soldier, hit by a club, fired, killing a mulatto named 
Crispus Attucks. At once the other soldiers dis- 
charged their muskets into the mob. Including 
Attucks, three persons were killed, two mortally 
wounded, and six injured. It is alleged that Pres- 
ton gave the word to fire, but the fact is not clearly 

As the news spread the wildest excitement pre- 
vailed in the town. Drums were beaten and the 
church-bells rung. The people rushed into the 
streets, some with arms in their hands. Captain 
Preston and the soldiers were arrested and committed 
to prison. The next day, under the leadership of 
Samuel Adams, 1 the town-meeting demanded that 
both regiments should be sent away to the castle. 
After some parley, as a bloody contest seemed 
imminent, Hutchinson consented to give the order. 
Seven months later the soldiers were tried before a 
Boston jury, John Adams 2 and Josiah Quincy ap- 

1 Frothingham, " Sam. Adams' Regiments," in Atlantic Monthly, 
June and August, 1862, November, 1863. 

2 Adams, Works, L, 97-114, II., 229-233. 



pearing as their counsel. All were acquitted, save 
two, and these were lightly punished for man- 

Such was the "Boston Massacre" which patriotic 
writers have represented as the first blood-offering 
for independence ; and of a truth the historian who 
would understand the American Revolution will not 
belittle its significance. It may be true that im- 
mediately the townsmen were far more guilty than 
the soldiers. The real responsibility rests upon the 
statesmen who created the conditions rendering 
such a result almost inevitable. In that fact lies 
the meaning of the " massacre,' ' and the meaning 
is very grave. 

VOL. VIII. — 15 



1 marks the crisis in a long and bitter con- 
troversy which rightly belongs to the preliminaries 
of the American Revolution. According toMellen 
Chamberlain, whose view in part agrees with that 
of some other writers, 1 the attempt to set up the 
Anglican episcopal system in the colonies must be 
counted among the chief causes of their separation 
from the parent state. He cites 2 as principal au- 
thorities John Adams and Jonathan Boucher. Who 
"will believe," wrote Adams in 1815, "that the 
apprehension of Episcopacy contributed fifty years 
ago, as much as any other cause, to arouse the at- 
tention, not only of the inquiring mind, but of the 
common people, and urge them to close thinking 
on the constitutional authority of parliament over 

Chamberlain, John Adams, 13, 17; Perry, Am. Episcopal 
Church, I., 394 et seq., 425. Cf. Brooks Adams, Emancipation 
of Mass., 314 et seq. 

2 Chamberlain, John Adams, 30 et seq. 




Townshend acts, 176 7- 1770, 


the colonies? This nevertheless was a fact as 
certain as any in the history of North America. 
The objection was not merely to the office of a 
bishop, though even that was dreaded, but to the 
authority of parliament, on which it must be 
founded " ; for "if parliament can erect dioceses and 
appoint bishops, they may introduce the whole 
hierarchy, establish tithes, forbid marriages and 
funerals, establish religions, forbid dissenters." 1 

Similarly in 1797 Boucher insisted that it was then 
"indisputable" that the opposition to bishops was 
connected "with that still more serious one after- 
wards set up against civil government"; although 
he admits that in Virginia the fact " was not indeed 
generally apparent at the time." This controversy, 
he adds, was "clearly one great cause that led to 
the revolution." 2 

Here, then, if this theory be true, is a fact, much 
neglected by the general historian, which ought to 
receive due emphasis in any account of the origin of 
the American nation. Fortunately the researches 
of several American scholars, notably those of Dr. 
Cross, have put us in a position to follow throughout 
their entire course the efforts to establish bishops in 
the colonies, and to appreciate at something near its 
real value the significance of those efforts in their 
relation to the civil policy of Great Britain. 

1 Adams, Works, X., 185, 288; Chamberlain, John Adams, 
25, n. 

? poucher, View' of the Cguses of the Am. Rev., 159^ 


During the colonial era the church of England 
was established by law in Virginia, the Carolinas, 
Georgia, and Maryland. Elsewhere, save in three 
counties of New York, it had no legal existence, al- 
though here and there single congregations were 
planted. In New England particularly there was a 
traditional antipathy to bishops. Since the Hamp- 
den Court conference episcopal despotism was there 
closely associated with the absolutism of the Stuarts. 
The independent churches had been founded in 
America by those who had fled from episcopal 
tyranny in the old home. Episcopacy and mon- 
archy were associated in the Puritan mind ; and with 
the spread of democratic ideas any attempt to set 
up bishops, however restricted in their authority and 
functions, was sure to be looked upon with a jeal- 
ous eye. Indeed, in Virginia, where the Anglican 
church was strongest, there was, mainly on secular 
grounds, as little inclination as in New England to 
welcome the institution of a hierarchy. 1 

Moreover, the earliest attempt to create an Amer- 
ican episcopate was not auspicious. It came as a 
part of Laud's scheme for forcing conformity to the 
Anglican church upon the English settlers through- 
out the world. 2 In 1638, according to Heylyn, 
"to prevent such mischiefs," as might ensue from 
the "receptacle" of " schismatical persons" in New 
England, Laud resolved "to send a bishop over to 

1 Greene, Provincial America {Am. Nation, VI.), chap. vi. 

2 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 7. 


them, for their better government, and back him 
with some Force to compel, if he were not otherwise 
able to persuade Obedience. But this Design was 
strangled in the first Conception, by the violent 
breakings out of the Troubles in Scotland." 1 These 
troubles were not surmounted before the meeting 
of the Long Parliament which in 1645 sent Laud 
to the scaffold. 

Thus through the primate the earliest attempt 
to establish the Anglican system in the colonies 
came from the government. From the same source 
during the following century arose several other 
projects, 2 although at no time did the appointment 
of bishops in America become an essential part of 
England's colonial policy. At most these isolated 
schemes, formed directly or indirectly under the 
auspices of the state, may have served to nourish 
the traditional dread of an Anglican hierarchy. 
In Massachusetts, especially, the jealousy of the 
rival Congregational establishment, intolerant and 
aggressive, was easily excited. Yet the strife re- 
garding this subject, which finally became a cause of 
revolution, came immediately from another source. 
It arose mainly from the zeal of the American 
episcopal clergy and the unwise efforts of certain 
English prelates to establish bishops in the colonies, 
under influence of the well-meant appeals of the 
Society for Propagating the Gospel. 

1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 21, n. 2; Heylyn, Cyprianus An- 
glicus,347. 2 Perry, Hist. Colls., I., 160, 161,395-399,536-542. 


Previous to the Restoration a tradition had grown 
up that the bishop of London ought by preference 
to be consulted regarding the affairs of the English 
churches in America. But it has been pretty clear- 
ly demonstrated that even his restricted suffragan 
authority in the colonies had no legal sanction until 
the time of Henry Compton, who was translated 
to the see of London in 1675. 1 When a formal 
inquiry 3 had disclosed this fact, at Compton's in- 
stance two new provisions were henceforth inserted 
in the instructions to the royal governors. Gov- 
ernor Culpepper, of Virginia, who was first so in- 
structed, is required to see that the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer is "read each Sunday and Holy Day," 
and the "Blessed Sacrament administered accord- 
ing to the rules of the Church of England"; while 
hereafter no minister may be preferred to any 
benefice in the colony without a certificate from the 
bishop of London "of his being conformable" to 
the doctrine of that church. 3 

In various ways Compton strove to increase his 
diocesan authority in the colonies. From 1685 
onward, at his instance, the governors were com- 
manded to "give all countenance and encourag- 
m l in the exercise" of the jurisdiction of the bishop 
of London, "excepting only the Collating to Bene- 

' 1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 1-2$. 

» Ibid., is, n. 3, 25; N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 36a; 
Cat. of State Pap., Col., 167 5-1676, 337, 338. 

3 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 362. 


fices, granting licenses for Marriages, and Probate 
of Wills," which are reserved to the governor and 
the "Commander in Chief for the time being"; 
while henceforward no school-masters were to be 
"permitted to come from England and to keep 
school" in the province "without the license of the 
said Bishop." 1 With equal zeal he sought to im- 
prove the spiritual conditions of the colonial clergy. 

To this end Compton "instituted the practice of 
appointing commissaries who from this time until 
the middle of the eighteenth century continued to 
exercise delegated authority in the colonies"; and 
with the aid of Archbishop Tennison, in 1701, he 
procured the incorporation of the Societv for 
Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The 
work begun by Compton was carried further by 
Gibson (17 23-1 748), who received a royal com- 
mission authorizing him or his commissaries to hold 
spiritual courts. 2 In South Carolina, at least, such 
tribunals were vigorously employed for correcting 
the morals and irregularities of the clergy. 3 

Meanwhile, from its first organization the Society 
for Propagating the Gospel or its adherents had been 
clamoring for the institution of bishops in America. 
To this end letters, petitions, and memorials were 
sent to England, especially by missionaries in the 

1 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VII., 363 (instructions to the 
governor of Jamaica). Cf. Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 30. 

2 For the patent or commission, see N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. 
Hist., V., 849-854. Cf. Baldwin, Jurisdiction of the Bishop of 
London, 190. 3 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 80-87. 


middle and the northern colonies; 1 for the estab- 
lished clergy of Virginia and the south were too 
well satisfied with the liberty which they enjoyed 
to invite the interference of a resident hierarchy. 
These efforts were prompted mainly by spiritual 
motives, although they eventually gave rise to bitter 
political strife. Bishops were needed, it was urged, 
for the purpose of ordination, confirmation, and a 
more rigorous discipline of the clergy. In England 
the zeal of the society was almost successful. Its 
scheme for an American episcopate won the sanc- 
tion of Queen Anne, and a "bill was drafted and 
about to be introduced into parliament, when her 
Majesty's death put a stop to further proceedings." 2 
The new king, George L, looked coldly upon the 
project, and Sir Robert Walpole was too wise to 
try so dangerous an experiment. For a quarter of a 
century the agitation waned ; but at the very end of 
Walpole's ministry it was revived in a significant 
way by a sermon preached before the society by 
Thomas Seeker, bishop of Oxford. His words are 
ominous of the growing political trend of this dis- 
cussion. "Such an establishment,' ' he says, would 
not "encroach at all on the present rights of the 
Civil Government in our Colonies"; nor would it 
endanger their "dependence" as "some persons 
profess to apprehend . . ., who would make no 
manner of scruple about doing other Things much 

1 Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 396 et seq. 

* Cross, Anglican Episcopate, ioi, citing contemporaries. 


more likely to destroy it ; who are not terrified in the 
least that such numbers there reject the Episcopal 
Order entirely ; nor would perhaps be greatly alarm- 
ed, were there ever so many to reject Religion itself: 
though evidently in Proportion as either is thrown 
off, all Dependence produced by it ceases of course." 1 
Equally enlightening is the reply of the Reverend 
Andrew Eliot, which discloses a suspicion of the 
good faith of the advocates of a colonial episcopate 
and a dread of the encroachments of the hierarchy 
were it once set up. "If a prelate is introduced, 
some way must be found out for his support. Every 
art will be used to prevail with our assemblies to 
lay a tax ; and who can assure us, that they will 
never be cajoled into a compliance. ... If the pro- 
vincial assemblies should refuse to tax the in- 
habitants for the support of a bishop, the whole 
strength of the Church of England will be united 
to procure an act of parliament" to tax the colonies 
for this purpose. "If this is obtained, no colony 
can expect an exemption," not even New England; 
for "we have been told, that 'when any part of the 
English nation spread abroad into colonies, as they 
continued a part of ijie nation, the law obliged them 
equally to the church of England, and to the 
Christian religion.' " 2 

1 Society's Abstracts, 27-29, quoted by Cross, Anglican 
Episcopate, 109, n. 2. 

2 Eliot, Remarks on the Bishop of Oxford's Sermon (Mass. 
Hist. Soc., Collections, 2d series, II., 209, 210). 


From this time onward the political aspects of the 
question became more and more pronounced. In 
its next phase the bishop of London took the- lead. 
From 1748 to 1761 that see was held by Thomas 
Sherlock, who strove without ceasing to secure the 
instalment of bishops in America. He refused to 
receive a royal patent defining his colonial jurisdic- 
tion, and declined so far as practicable to exercise 
any diocesan authority in the colonies. Apparently 
it was his deliberate policy to force the Episcopalians 
in America " to demand an episcopate of their own." 1 
His memorial relating to " Ecclesiastical Govern- 
ment in his Majesty's Dominions in America' ■ failed 
to receive the approval of the Privy Council, and one 
of its members, Horatio Walpole, gave him solemn 
warning of the bitter feeling which the presentation 
of such a scheme would arouse. The dissenters 
at home who "are generally well - affected, & in- 
deed necessary supporters to y e present establish- 
ment in state" will "be loud in their discourses and 
writings upon this intended innovation in America, 
and those in y e Colonies will be exasperated & 
animated to make warm representations against it 
to y e Government here, as a design to establish 
Ecclesiastical power in its full extent among them 
by Degrees." 2 

Walpole 's letter was answered by Seeker of Ox- 

1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 113 et seq. 

2 Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 409; Walpole, in Cross, 
Anglican Episcopate, 324-330. 


ford; and about the same time Joseph Butler, 
bishop of Durham, came to Sherlock's support. In 
1750 he drew up a plan defining the principles on 
which an American episcopate should be set up. 
It is very moderate and apologetic in tone. Coercive 
authority over the laity is disclaimed; the main- 
tenance of bishops is "not to be at the charge 
of the colonies"; and no "bishops are intended 
to be settled in places where the government is left 
in the hands of dissenters." Only spiritual mo- 
tives are disclosed, although the manifest anxiety 
to placate opposition is highly enlightening. 1 

Still more significant was the so-called "May hew 
Controversy," which took place during Grenville's 
administration, 1 763-1 765. In a pamphlet pub- 
lished in 1763, Jonathan May hew, of Boston, at- 
tempted to show that the Society for Propagating 
the Gospel, neglectful of the spiritual purposes of its 
creation, had long had "a formal design to root out 
Presbyterianism," and to set up episcopacy through- 
out the colonies. 2 Among the replies called out by 
May hew 's pamphlet was one by Seeker, now arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, who claimed that as a matter 
of constitutional right the Episcopalians in the 
colonies were entitled to the ministrations of bishops ; 
that, "in a land where there is any pretence of 
toleration," the members of the church of Eng- 

1 Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, L, 408. 

2 Mayhew, Observations, 103; Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, 
I., 410 et seq. 


land "should have that privilege in full — should 
have bishops and other necessary officers." Ac- 
cordingly he presented " a plan of what the proposed 
bishop would be allowed to do and what not to do, 
a plan which corresponds in its essentials to that 
which Bishop Butler had drawn up in 1750/' 1 

In his answer, Mayhew insisted that if bishops 
were once introduced they would hardly be content 
without any of the temporal "power and grandeur" 
enjoyed by their brethren in England ; and that " the 
number of Episcopalians might increase to such an 
extent as to attain a majority in the legislatures, 
and thereby secure, perhaps, not only an establish- 
ment of the Church of England, but also taxes for 
the support of bishops, test acts, ecclesiastical 
courts, and what not." 2 Little that was new in 
argument was advanced by either side in this dis- 
cussion; but under influence of the sensitiveness 
created by the political contest of the hour old 
arguments acquired new meaning; and the con- 
troversy undoubtedly tended to draw men closer 
together in the rising revolutionary parties. Ac- 
cording to John Adams, at this time the supposed 
design to set up an American episcopate "spread 
an universal alarm against the authority of parlia- 
ment," by virtue of which alone it could be ac- 
complished. 3 

1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 146, 151. 

2 Mayhew, Remarks, 60 et seq., summarized in Cross, Anglican 
Episcopate, 154-156 8 Adams, Works, X., 288. 


The crisis in the long struggle for bishops in the 
colonies was reached in the pamphlet war waged 
between Thomas Bradbury Chandler and Charles 
Chauncy, 1 backed by their respective allies, in the 
years 1767-1771, the period of political strife caused 
by the measures of Charles Townshend. In 1767 
the contest was opened by Chandler in his Appeal 
to the Public in Behalf of the Church of England in 
America, a paper prepared under the sanction of 
a convention of the Episcopalians of New York and 
New Jersey. From the religious point of view he pre- 
sented a powerful argument in favor of bishops, and 
sketched a plan similar in character to the schemes 
of Butler and Seeker already mentioned. Dis- 
claiming all political purpose, he rejected as utterly 
groundless the assertions of some "London papers 
at the time of the Stamp Act agitation, to the 
effect that the discontent and uneasiness manifested 
by the colonists on that occasion were due in a great 
measure to the fear that bishops would be settled 
among them." That discontent he declared was 
" wholly due to what the colonists regarded as 
'an unconstitutional oppressive act. 1112 

Yet it is to be feared that Chandler was not quite 
candid in his profession of purely spiritual motives; 
and that he kept back political reasons which might 
have justified the colonial dread of the hierarchy. In 

1 Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 414 et seq. 
J Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 170, quoting Chandler, Appeal. 
Cf. Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 416. 


his letter transmitting a copy of his book to the 
bishop of London he admits, ''There are some Facts 
and Reasons, which could not be prudently men- 
tioned in a Work of this Nature, as the least Intima- 
tion of them would be of ill Consequence in this 
irritable Age and Country: but were they known, 
they would have a far greater Tendency to engage 
such of our Superiors, if there be any such as are 
governed by Political motives, to espouse the Cause 
of the Church of England in America, than any 
contained in the Pamphlet. But I must content 
myself with having proposed those only which 
could be mentioned safely, and leave the event to 
Divine Providence." 1 

In his elaborate answer, Chauncy, besides pre- 
senting the usual arguments in opposition, added 
the forcible objection to the scheme for episcopizing 
the colonies, that it was supported "almost wholly 
by the clergy, and by the laity scarcely at all." It 
" is to me as well as to many I have conversed with 
upon this head, Episcopalians among others, very 
questionable, whether, if the members of the Church 
of England, in these northern Colonies, were to give 
in their votes, and to do it without previous Clerical 
influence, they would be found to be on the side of 
an American Episcopate." 2 Moreover, it is highly 
probable that his statement would have been as true 
of the southern as of the northern provinces. 

1 Fulham MSS., quoted by Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 165, 
j66, 2 Chauncy, Appeal Answered, 135. 


One other significant passage in Chauncy's pam- 
phlet deserves mention. More boldly than any of 
his predecessors he questioned the good faith of the 
advocates of an American episcopate, and accused 
them of suppressing their real motives. "They 
have much more in design than they have been 
pleased to declare," he says. "We are as fully 
persuaded as if they had openly said it, that 
they have in view nothing short of a complete 
church hierarchy, after the pattern of that 
at home, with like officers, in all their various 
degrees of dignity, with a like large revenue for 
their grand support, and with the allowance of 
no other privilege to dissenters but that of a 
bare toleration." 1 

For our present purpose this remarkable pam- 
phlet controversy need not be further dwelt upon. 
But the fact that it was accompanied by an acri- 
monious newspaper war, 2 in which such men as 
William Livingston, John Dickinson, and William 
Smith, provost of the College of Philadelphia, took 
part, seems to prove that "the episcopal question, in 
its political aspect, had become important in the 
minds of the people." The contest had its in- 
fluence on the further development of the revolu- 
tionary parties. In the northern colonies the Puri- 
tans, who believed in forcible resistance to the 
obnoxious measures of the British government, drew 

1 Chauncy, Appeal Answered, 201; Cross, Anglican Episco- 
pate, 175. 2 Ibid., 195-214. 


apart from the Episcopalians, who generally favored 
a policy of "non-resistance and passive obedience." 
In "view of these facts," Cross is convinced, "it 
is at least a tenable hypothesis that the bitterness 
of the controversy brought out so sharply the latent 
hostility between Episcopalian and Puritan, that 
many churchmen who might otherwise have taken 
the side of their country were, by the force of their 
injured religious convictions, driven over to the 
royalist ranks." 1 

To what extent, then, may the agitation for an 
American episcopate be regarded as a cause of the 
Revolution ? In answering this question it is high- 
ly important to consider that Virginia, where the 
church of England was established, was opposed 
to the introduction of bishops. The only serious 
attempt by some of the clergy to bring that to pass 
was severely rebuked by the house of burgesses, 
because it would cause "much disturbance, great 
anxiety, and apprehension . . . among his Majesty's 
faithful American subjects." 2 Thus the Virginian 
house placed itself beside that of Massachusetts, which 
three years before (1768), in a letter drafted by 
Samuel Adams, had ordered its agent in London 
to "strenuously oppose" the "establishment of a 
Protestant episcopate in America." 3 Furthermore, 

1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 214. 

' Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 419; Baldwin, Jurisdiction 
of the Bishop of London, 210; Hawks, Contributions, I., 126 et seq. 

3 Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, I., 157. Cf. Brooks Adams, 
Emancipation of Mass., 347 et seq. 


at no time after the reign of Anne was the agitation 
for episcopizing the colonies favored by the im- 
perial government. 

As a cause of the Revolution, therefore, it can- 
not be ranked with the acts of trade, the exercise of 
the royal prerogative, or the revenue laws. Yet it 
was an important factor in moulding revolutionary 
opinion and differentiating revolutionary parties. 
One may safely accept the judgment of the scholar 
who has most thoroughly examined the problem, 
that "the strained relations which heralded the 
War of Independence strengthened the opposition 
to episcopacy, rather than that religious differences 
were a prime moving cause of political alienation ": 
that religious controversies "contributed, in com- 
bination with other causes, to embitter the mind 
of the patriots, and thus to accelerate the impending 
crisis. 1 

1 Cross, Anglican Episcopate, 271. 

VOL. VIII. — 16 



HILE the orders of Hillsborough were drawing 

V Y the colonies together in common opposition 
to the king and Parliament, the western pioneers 
of North Carolina were striving to redress the shame- 
ful abuses in the civil service which Tryon and the 
assembly had refused to remedy. The war of the 
Regulation has no direct connection with the Rev- 
olution.. It was neither religious nor political in 
character. It was essentially a peasants' rising on 
account of economic wrongs. Hermon Husband 
sympathized deeply with the aggrieved people, and 
by wise methods did what he could to relieve them 
from oppression ; but, contrary to the popular view, 
he was rather a peace-maker than a leader of rebellion. 

There was little self - government in the colony. 
Power was centralized in the hands of the governor 
and a few leaders. So in the western counties the 
spoils of office were shared by corrupt " rings." 
The "grievances of the Regulators were excessive 
taxes, dishonest sheriffs, and extortionate fees." 1 

1 Bassett, Regulators of N. C, 142, 143, 150. Cf. Raper, 
North Carolina, 61-64, 66-68, passim. 





Taxes were apportioned according to polls, every 
adult white man and every black man or woman 
being rated as a taxable. Thus relatively the bur- 
den bore more heavily upon the poor than upon 
the rich. Money was so scarce that often the people 
were unable to pay the tax when demanded without 
borrowing the sum needed from the local broker. 
The sheriff as tax-collector usually refused to grant 
the delay necessary for this purpose, but proceeded 
at once to distrain on the delinquent's property, 
exacting a fee for the service. The property seized 
was then carried to Hillsborough and sold — some- 
times to a friend of the officer — "for much less 
than its value. The Regulators charged that offi- 
cers played into each other's hands for this pur- 
pose, and there were men in Hillsborough who 
made large sums by dealing in such business." 1 
Moreover, the sheriffs were often dishonest. In 
1767 even Governor Tryon declared that because 
of the "illjudged lenity" of the treasurers these 
officials " have embezzled more than one-half of the 
public money ordered to be raised and collected by 
them"; and in 1770 an official report shows that 
they were in arrears to the amount of more than 
£66,000, counting some £15,000 due for that year. 2 
The fee system was scandalously abused. Fees 
of lawyers and officials were established by law; 

1 Bassett, Regulators of N. C, 151. Cf. N. C. Col. Records, 
VII., 771-782. 1 

2 N. C. Col. Records, VII., 497, 984, VIII., 105, 278-281. 


but in spirit the law was violated by ingeniously 
resolving a " service for which a fixed fee was due 
into two or more services," and demanding the 
fee for each. The people believed that the courts 
connived at the extortion, and that by collusion 
cases were postponed in order to increase the costs. 

Furthermore, the people of the back country suf- 
fered greatly from the lack of courts. They de- 
manded that the counties should be subdivided so 
that the number of county courts might be in- 
creased. Often they had to travel from thirty 
to sixty miles to attend the sessions. Judicial 
business was so much behind that in April, 1766, 
Tryon wrote that there were about one thousand 
cases on the docket of Halifax superior court, and 
no civil causes had been tried in any court in the 
province since November. 1 

Tryon and the eastern members of the assembly 
sympathized with the placemen and declined to 
grant the needed reforms. At length the people 
resolved to take the law into their own hands. 
Outbreaks of mob- violence took place in 1765; in 
some places taxes were refused in 1766; and in that 
year the first organized effort to bring the officials 
to account was made. The larger movement, known 
as the Regulation, extended from 1768 to May, 1771, 
when it was mercilessly put down in the battle of the 
Alamance. In the next year, despairing of gaining 

1 N. C. Col. Records, VII., 200, 201; Bassett, Regulators of 
N. C, 152-154. 




justice, a large number of pioneers crossed the 
mountains to carve out new homes in the wilder- 
ness of Tennessee. 

The Regulation thus has its place in the ex- 
pansion of the nation ; but it is not the beginning of 
the Revolution. Among the leaders in the war for 
independence were the very men who commanded 
the militia against the Regulators, while the ma- 
jority of the latter were Tories. Still, that the up- 
rising took place at all is largely due to the policy 
of Try on; and in another way it influenced the 
Revolution. "The struggle was a grand object 
lesson to the whole country. It set the people to 
thinking of armed resistance. Failure as it was, it 
showed how weak the British army would be in a 
hostile country. It taught the North Carolina 
troops who served with Tryon to appreciate the 
feelings of such an army. The two campaigns of 
Tryon developed the military organization of the 
province. When the Revolution began, it was only 
necessary that this organization should be put in 
motion." 1 

Before the arrival of the Regulators from North 
Carolina, events of vast import for the future nation 
were taking place beyond the Alleghanies. There, 
in the valleys of the Kentucky and the Tennessee, 
American institutions were being planted, the foun- 
dations of new states were being laid. In the face 
of perils and hardships not less appalling than those 

I Bassett, Regulators of N. C, 211. 


endured by their ancestors at Jamestown and 
Plymouth, bold pioneers were forming " associations " 
for self-government, not less significant than the 
Mayflower compact. Long before the French and 
Indian War cheap arable lands were becoming scarce 
east of the mountains; and the westward march of 
settlement had already passed beyond the Blue 
Ridge to the rich valley of the Shenandoah. As 
early as 1738 the Virginia assembly had created 
Augusta County, bounded on the east by the Blue 
Ridge, and west and northwest by ' 'the utmost 
limits of Virginia." 1 

Gradually interest was awakened in the opening 
of the West to colonization. Between the Monon- 
gahela and the Kanawha were located the lands 
granted to the Ohio Company in 1749; 2 and from 
this time onward numerous schemes for western 
settlement were formed. Franklin's plan of union 
in 1754 would have wisely placed general control 
of Indian affairs in the hands of the governor and 
council. They were to ' ' make all purchases from 
Indians, for the crown, of lands not now within the 
bounds of particular colonies, or that shall not be 
within their bounds when some of them are reduced 
to more convenient dimensions." 3 

Not long after the Albany convention Franklin 

1 Alden, New Governments, 1; Hening, Statutes, V., 79; Brown, 
in Filson Club, Publications, VI., 23. 

2 Dinwiddie Papers, I., 17, n. 23. 

8 Thwaites, France in America {Am. Nation, VII.) , chap. x. 




prepared a project for planting two colonies under 
charters from the crown. These were to have 
"liberal privileges and powers of government"; for 
"extraordinary privileges and liberties, with lands 
on easy terms, are strong inducements to people to 
hazard their persons and fortunes in settling new 
countries." 1 These colonies were to be seated, one 
on the Scioto, and the other in what is now north- 
western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio. 2 In 
1756 Pownall communicated Franklin's scheme to 
the duke of Cumberland, together with a plan of his 
own for two barrier colonies, to protect Virginia 
and New England respectively. He informed the 
duke that the " English settlements, as they are at 
present circumstanced, are absolutely at a stand; 
they are settled up to the mountains, and in the 
mountains there is nowhere together, land sufficient 
for a settlement large enough to subsist by itself 
and to defend itself, and preserve a communication 
with the present settlements. If the English would 
advance one step further, or cover themselves where 
they are, it must be at once, by one large step 
over the mountains, with a numerous and military 
colony." 3 

In 1755 Samuel Hazard, a Philadelphia merchant, 
proposed to get a grant of land for "an ample 
colony," and to apply to the king for a charter to 

franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), II., 474. 

2 Alden, New Governments, 4. 

3 Pownall, Administration, App., 47, 48. 


erect the " territory into a separate government." 
The boundaries of this ample colony, as described, 
"embraced all of the Ohio, and a large part of the 
Mississippi valleys." 1 Apparently it was expected 
that the colonists would be mainly Presbyterians. 
"Only Protestants believing in the divine authority 
of the Old and New Testaments and the Trinity of 
the Godhead, and with lives and conversations free 
from immorality and profaneness, could hold office. 
Roman Catholics were debarred from holding land 
or having arms or ammunition in their possession, 
'nor shall any Mass Houses or Popish Chappels be 
allowed in the Province.' " It is well that a plan for 
the government of the West, whose intolerance con- 
trasts so unfavorably with the broad liberalism of 
the Ordinance of 1787, was never carried through; 
for with its author's death in 1758 it drops out of 

Another of the various schemes of this period, 
never realized, deserves a passing notice. At the 
close of the French and Indian War an Edinburgh 
pamphlet recommended that "Virginia, Maryland, 
and Pennsylvania be terminated by a bound to be 
fixed thus: From Lake Erie, up the river Miamis 
[Maumee] to the Carrying-place, from thence down 
the river Waback to where it runs into the Ohio, and 
from thence down the Ohio to the Forks of the 
Mississippi." Furthermore, the writer of the pam- 

1 Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, I., 861-867; Gist, Journals, 
261; Alden, New Governments, 7-9. 




phlet suggested that "the country betwixt the 
fresh-water Lakes, extending northwest from this 
proposed bound, be formed into a new Colony, 
which might be called Charlotiana, in honor of 
Her Majesty, our present most excellent Queen. " 
The colony, it was hoped, would serve as a check 
to the Indian insurrections then in progress. 1 

The king's proclamation of 1763 forbade the 
colonial governors "to grant warrant of survey, or 
pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or 
sources of any of the rivers which fall into the 
Atlantic Ocean from the west or northwest," all 
such territory being "for the present" reserved to 
the royal "sovereignty" for the use of the Indians. 
Without the king's "special leave and licence," un- 
der severe penalty private persons were prohibited 
from purchasing or settling on any of the lands so 
reserved ; but " if at any time any of the said Indians 
should be inclined to dispose of the said lands," the 
same were to be purchased in the king's name, at a 
public meeting of the Indians, by the governor or 
commander-in-chief of the colony in which they 
shall lie. 2 

In 1772 the Earl of Hillsborough declared that 
the "two capital objects" of the proclamation were 
to confine the colonies to territory where they could 

1 Alden, New Governments, 12-14, citing Expediency of Securing 
Our American Colonies. 

2 Text in Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 374-379; or 
MacDonald, Select Charters, 267. 


be kept "in a due subjection to, and dependence 
upon, the mother country, " and where they would 
be "within the reach of the trade and commerce" 
of Great Britain. But there seems to be no good 
reason to doubt that it was really designed in good 
faith as a temporary expedient for securing the 
rights and quieting the minds of the Indians until 
a permanent arrangement should be made by 
treaty. Such was the view of Franklin and Wash- 
ington; while Grenville "always admitted, that the 
design of it was totally accomplished, so soon as 
the country was purchased from the natives." 1 
The proclamation dealt with the Indian problem 
in precisely the same spirit as did Franklin's 
plan of union in 1754; and that there was no 
intention of placing a permanent restraint on 
westward settlement is clearly revealed by later 

The very next year an important step was taken 
towards opening the western lands for settlement. 
At the close of Pontiac's war in 1 764, Bouquet forced 
a treaty of peace upon the Indians of the Ohio 
Valley, whose most important result was to aid in 
withdrawing the Indians from the territory south 
of the Ohio, thus preparing the way for the future 
settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee. "Very 
soon after Bouquet's conference, the last of the 

1 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 303, 304, 339, 340; 
Alden, New Governments, 42-48; Coffin, Province of Quebec, 
398-431; Butterfield, Washington-Crawford Letters, 3. 


1769] THE WEST 231 

Shawnees who lingered in that country crossed the 
Ohio." 1 

Only two years after the treaty a scheme was 
under consideration for planting three new colonies 
in the West. One was to be seated at Detroit, 
another on the lower Ohio, and a third in the Illinois 
country. Although the project was favored by 
Franklin and supported by Lord Shelburne, then 
secretary of state for the southern or colonial de- 
partment, it was finally abandoned by the ministry 
in 1 7 68. 2 In that same year, at the treaty of Fort 
Stanwix, the Six Nations ceded to the crown all of 
their claims to land south of the Ohio as far as the 
Tennessee. This treaty was in strict harmony 
with the policy inaugurated by the proclamation of 
1763, and the way was now open for settlement 
under the royal sanction. 

Accordingly, the next project for a western colony 
was well received. In June, 1769, the first step was 
taken in what is known as the Vandalia scheme. A 
petition was then presented to the board of trade by 
Thomas Walpole, Benjamin Franklin, and others 
for the purchase of two million four hundred thou- 
sand acres of land. At the instance of Lord Hills- 
borough, then at the head of the board, the project 
was enlarged so as to include a much greater terri- 

1 Smith, Historical Account of the Expedition of Henry Bouquet 
{Ohio Valley Historical Series, I.); Winsor, Mississippi Basin, 

2 Alden, New Governments, 16-19. Cf. Franklin, Works 
(Sparks's ed.), IV., 233-241, V., 45, VII., 355. 


tory with provision for a colonial government. For 
about £10,000 the lords of the treasury agreed to con- 
vey to the company a vast domain covering nearly all 
of West Virginia and the eastern part of Kentucky as 
far as a line drawn from the mouth of the Scioto to 
Cumberland Gap; while the colony or jurisdiction 
of Vandalia was to include this tract and the region 
beyond to the Kentucky River. After long con- 
sideration, in May, 1773, a report of the board of 
trade, prepared at the king's command, favored the 
project because of "the necessity there was of in- 
troducing some regular form of government in a 
country incapable of participating the advantages 
arising from the civil institutions of Virginia"; and 
declared that the "form and constitution of the new 
colony which they named Vandalia" had received 
attention. 1 

It is believed that the charter of Massachusetts 
was to be taken as a general model for the or- 
ganization. The governor and other officers were 
to be appointed during the king's pleasure, and 
in effect they were made dependent upon him alone 
for their salaries. In the spring of 1775 the draft 
of the royal grant was actually ready for execution 
when the president of the Privy Council requested 
Walpole and his associates to "wait for the grant 
aforesaid, and the plan of government of Vandalia, 

1 Winsor, Westward Movement, 46-62; Brown, in Filson Club, 
Publications, VI., 13, 14; Turner, "Western State-Making," in 
Am. Hist. Review, I., 73-75; Alden, New Governments, 20-28. 




until hostilities, which had then commenced be- 
tween Great Britain and the United Colonies, should 
cease." 1 The further history of the Vandalia 
company lies beyond the period dealt with in this 
volume. 2 

The incident is enlightening in two ways. First, 
on the very eve of the Revolution, it appears to 
reveal the policy deliberately adopted by Great 
Britain in reference to her territory beyond the 
Alleghanies. Seemingly this was to be cut up into 
great proprietary domains, but with governments 
not unlike those of the existing royal provinces; 
while the provision rendering the colonial officials 
dependent upon the crown for their salaries is con- 
ceived in the spirit of the act "regulating" the 
government of Massachusetts. "If the war had 
broken out a little later," says a careful writer, 
"there seems every reason to suppose that there 
would have been fourteen instead of thirteen colo- 
nies to fight for independence." 3 

Again, it is significant that Virginia did not resist 
these proceedings as an invasion of her jurisdiction. 
She did, indeed, demand that all existing private 
claims in the region in question should be respected ; 
but the right of the crown to bestow vacant lands 
and confer jurisdiction back of the mountains was 
not challenged. The king's proclamation had en- 

1 Alden, New Governments, 29, 35. 

2 Turner, "Western State-Making," in Am. Hist. Review, I., 
81, 251 et seq. 3 Alden, New Governments, 35. 


tirely ignored the shadowy title of several of the 
colonies to the western territory ; and in the ensuing 
period his right to do so was virtually conceded. 
During the discussion of the Vandalia project 
Franklin declared that the Alleghanies must be 
considered the "real limits of Virginia"; 1 and 
Nelson, president of the Virginia council — then 
acting in place of the governor — said, "We do not 
presume to say to whom our gracious Sovereign 
shall grant his vacant lands. . . . With respect to 
the establishment of a new colony on the back of 
Virginia, it is a subject of too great political im- 
portance for me to presume to give an opinion upon " ; 
but "when that part of the country shall become 
sufficiently populated, it may be a wise and prudent 
measure." 2 It was only after the declaration of 
independence that Virginia began to assert her ex- 
clusive western claims under her ancient charters. 

While capitalists and statesmen were trying these 
unsuccessful plans for colonization, the hardy back- 
woodsmen, without leave or license, were laying the 
lasting foundations of future commonwealths on 
the western waters. The territory now embraced 
in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky was then 
a debatable ground between the aborigines of the 
north and those of the south. Very few Indians 
permanently dwelt in the region ; 3 but here, perhaps 

1 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 367. 

2 Plain Facts, in Alden, New Governments, 22, 23. 

8 Shaler, Kentucky, 27, 44etseq.; Phelan, Tennessee, 15, 21. 

1769] THE WEST ' 235 

for ages, the tribes had met to hunt or to fight their 
battles. Tennessee, not less than Kentucky, was a 
"dark and bloody ground." But at this time the 
region seemed to invite the occupancy of the whites. 
The treaties made by Bouquet and at Fort Stanwix 
tended to restrain the powerful Wabash tribes from 
crossing the Ohio. The territory to the south, the 
future states of Alabama and Mississippi, were held 
by the formidable nations of Choc taws, Creeks, and 
Cherokees. The Chickasaws, indeed, still clung to 
their strongholds in the bluffs of the Mississippi 
River in western Kentucky and Tennessee; but 
this occupation was not looked upon as a serious 
obstacle to settlement. 

For twenty years the valleys of Kentucky had 
been visited by traders and hunters — the daring 
pathfinders of civilization. The head- waters of the 
eastern tributaries of the Mississippi River lie 
eastward of the main chain of the Alleghanies, and 
thus offer an easy road from the Roanoke and 
the James valleys, so that it was not difficult to 
start the stream of permanent settlement toward 
the western slope of the mountains. In 1769, 
Captain William Bean, from Pittsylvania County, in 
Virginia, built the first cabin on the Watauga, a 
source of the Tennessee River. He was soon fol- 
lowed by many other settlers, whose names for the 
most part are unrecorded. Among these early 
adventurers was Daniel Boone. A rude inscrip- 
tion carved on the bark of a tree commemorates 


his killing of a bear ; and he is believed to 
have spent a night in Bean's cabin near a creek 
which still bears his name. 1 James Robertson — 
like Daniel Boone a heroic figure in the win- 
ning of the West — came from North Carolina in 
1770. 2 

Among those who followed him were many of 
the Regulators, whom misgovernment had forced 
from their eastern homes. By 1772 three flourish- 
ing settlements had been founded — one on the 
Watauga, another in Carter's Valley, and a third 
on the Nollichucky. It was supposed that these 
were within the limits of the territory claimed by 
Virginia, to which the Indian title had been ex- 
tinguished by the treaty of 1768. Some of the 
lands were actually taken under the pre-emption 
laws of that colony. It was soon discovered that 
they were south of the boundary -line, in the " un- 
organized territory belonging to North Carolina," 
and that some of the settlements were made in 
violation of the rights of the Cherokees under the 
treaty of Lochaber in 1770. Therefore North 
Carolina declined to acknowledge the settlements 
and to make any provision for their government. 
Furthermore, many of the pioneers were by no 
means eager to place themselves again under the 

Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I., 138; Thwaites, Daniel 
Boone, 56; Phelan, Tennessee, 29. 

2 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I., 177 et seq.; and especially 
Putnam, History of Middle Tennessee; or Life and Times of 
James Robertson. 




authority of a province from whose tyranny they 
had just escaped. 1 

Accordingly, in true American fashion the Wa- 
tauga pioneers resorted to self-help. In 1772, at a 
convention called for the purpose, an association 
was formed under a written constitution. A com- 
mittee of thirteen was chosen to act as a legisla- 
tive body. The executive and judicial powers were 
vested in five commissioners chosen by the thirteen 
from their own number. The committee appointed 
a clerk, and made provision for the record of deeds 
and wills. There were a sheriff and an attorney. 
So far as applicable, the laws of Virginia were 
adopted; and the government seems to have been 
administered with great prudence. For a time 
the Nollichucky settlement was not included in 
the association; but in 1775, being "composed for 
the most part of Tories," it was forced by the 
"Watauga people and a band of Virginians" to 
take the oath of fidelity to the revolutionary cause. 
Thereafter it formed a part of the union. For four 
years the "Watauga Association" was virtually 
an independent colony; but in 1776, on petition, 
it was received under the jurisdiction of North 
Carolina. 2 

The first planting of Kentucky affords a chapter 

burner, "Western State-Making," in Am. Hist. Review, I., 
75-77; Phelan, Tennessee, 32, 33. 

2 Ramsey, Annals of Tennessee, 134; Winsor, Westward 
Movement, 78-81; Hayward, Tennessee, 41; Phelan, Tennessee, 

vol. tiii. — 17 



in institutional history equally instructive and 
equally inspiring. Here, too, there was a pre- 
paratory period of hunting, exploration, and ad- 
venture. 1 The era of settlement began in 1769, 
when Daniel Boone, with five other backwoodsmen, 
left his "family and peaceful habitation on the 
Yadkin River in North Carolina, to wander through 
the wilderness of America, in quest of the country 
of Kentucke." In the spring of 177 1 he returned 
for his "family with a determination to bring them 
as soon as possible to live in Kentucke," which he 
"esteemed a second paradise." 2 Harrodsburg, the 
first distinct community, was founded in 1774 by 
James Harrod and some forty companions. In 
1775 Boonesborough was begun and protected by a 
fort ; and at the same time similar strongholds were 
built at St. Asaphs, Boiling Springs, and Harrods- 
burg. 3 

Already, without any governmental sanction, the 
first step toward the creation of a new common- 
wealth had been taken. 4 At Hillsborough, North 
Carolina, on August 27, 1774, a company had been 

*Thwaites, Daniel Boone, 85-96; Shaler, Kentucky, 59-67; 
Collins, Kentucky, I., 15; Durrett, in Filson Club, Publications, 
VII., 21 et seq. 

2 Filson, Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke, 
50-60; or Hart, Contemporaries, II., 383-385. 

3 Collins, Kentucky, II., 517; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, 
I., 259, 260; Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 355— 
357, IV., 194-196. 

4 Brown, in Filson Club, Publications, VI., 24 et seq.; Durrett, 
in ibid., VII., 36 et seq.; Ranck, in ibid., XVI., 1-32. 




formed, the members agreeing "to rent or purchase 
a certain territory or tract of land . . . from the 
Indian Tribes now in possession thereof, and to bind 
and oblige ourselves and our heirs each to furnish his 
Quota of Expenses necessary towards procuring a 
grant and settling the country." On the 6th of 
the next January the associators — Judge Richard 
Henderson and eight others, all from North Carolina 
— took the name of the "Transylvania Company." 
In the spring of 1775, at Watauga, a treaty was 
made with the Cherokees, who for £10,000 in 
merchandise ceded to the company a vast domain 
between the Ohio and the Tennessee, 1 which was 
called Transylvania. The proprietors at once pro- 
ceeded to form a government, resolving that the 
people should have a voice in making their own laws. 
An open-air convention was called for May 23, 1775. 
Boonesborough was represented by six, and each 
of the other three settlements by four delegates, 
elected "by free choice of Individuals." A legislature 
for Transylvania was thus created, the proprietors 
retaining the executive authority with the right of 
absolute veto. 

On the appointed day the convention met under 
the branches of a mighty elm, and listened to an 
opening speech by Henderson, the head of the com- 
pany. We have a right to make necessary laws, he 

burner, "Western State-Making," in Am. Hist. Review, 78; 
U. S. Bureau of Ethnology, Report (1883-1884), 148 et seq. 
Cf. Winsor, Westward Movement, 82, 97. 


said, "without giving offense to Great Britain, or 
any of the American colonies — without disturbing 
the repose of any society or community under 
Heaven." A kind of written constitution in the 
form of articles of agreement between the proprie- 
tors and the delegates was then accepted ; and laws 
were speedily enacted: establishing courts of judica- 
ture; regulating the militia; for the punishment of 
criminals; to prevent profane swearing and Sab- 
bath breaking; for writs of attachment; ascertain- 
ing clerks' and sheriffs' fees ; to preserve the range ; 
to preserve the breed of horses; to preserve game. 1 
After thus in five days creating a self-governing 
commonwealth and providing it with a body of 
laws, the backwoodsmen, "in good order, everybody 
pleased," returned to their homes. 2 The conven- 
tion adjourned to the first Tuesday in the following 
September, but it never met again. 

The history of the colony of Transylvania is soon 
told. It was denounced by Dunmore of Virginia, 
and opposed by Martin of North Carolina. 3 The 
proprietors discovered that their title from the 
Cherokees was utterly worthless ; for their lands were 
in the region ceded to the king by the Six Nations at 

1 Ranck, Boonesborough, in Filson Club, Publications, XVI., 
28, 196, 211; Butler, Kentucky, 508; Collins, Kentucky, II., 
502, 508; Alden, New Governments, 57; Shaler, Kentucky, 69, 70. 

2 Henderson, Journal; Ranck, Boonesborough, in Filson Club, 
Publications, XVI., 178. 

3 Force, American Archives, 4th series, II., 174; Ranck, 
Boonesborough, in Filson Club, Publications, XVI., 181; N. 
C. Col. Records, 273, 274, 323. 

177 6 ] THE WEST 241 

Fort Stanwix, and they were also claimed by Vir- 
ginia. In alarm Harrod's party among the settlers 
appealed to that province, asking that the territory 
be placed under its jurisdiction. 1 On the other 
hand, the proprietors sent a petition to the Con- 
tinental Congress praying that Transylvania might 
be "added to the number of the United Colonies." 2 
The petition was not granted ; but at last, in Decem- 
ber, 1776, the Virginia assembly consented to or- 
ganize the greater part of the territory as the 
" county of Kentucky." 3 

The prosperity of the settlements in Kentucky 
and Tennessee had been greatly favored by the 
results of Lord Dunmore's war. By the victory of 
the Great Kanawha, October 10, 1774, they were 
effectually relieved of all immediate peril from the 
Indians of the northwest. The battle was thus of 
the greatest national importance. It was almost 
equivalent to the winning of the West ; for had it not 
been possible to occupy this region during the early 
years of the Revolutionary War, it is not improbable 
that the treaty of 1783 might have fixed the western 
boundary of the United States at the Alleghanies. 4 

burner, "Western State-Making," in Am. Hist. Review, 
80-82; Hall, Sketches of the West, II., 236-239. 

2 Ranck, Boonesborough, in Filson Club, Publications, XVI., 
42, 224 et seq. 3 Alden, New Governments, 61. 

* Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I., 195 et seq., 240; Shaler, 
Kentucky, 67. 




MEANWHILE George III. had achieved what he 
felt to be a signal triumph. His ten years' 
struggle to divide and control the Whig aristocracy 
had been crowned with success. The Duke of 
Grafton threw up his office ; and on the last day of 
January, 1770, Lord North, leader of the new Tory 
party of "King's friends," succeeded him as first 
lord of the treasury. Through this facile servant the 
king was at last able to try the hazardous experi- 
ment of governing as well as reigning. 

At once the new ministry had to deal with the 
American problem. The Townshend acts were a 
decided failure: they had brought the colonies close 
to the verge of rebellion without creating a revenue. 
Near the close of the session in 1769, Pownall, in 
the House of Commons, had shown "that the total 
produce of the new taxes for the first year had been 
less than £16,000; that the expenses of the new 
custom-house arrangements had reduced the net 
proceeds of the crown revenue in the colonies to 



only £295 ; while the extraordinary military ex- 
penses in America" for the same period amounted 
to £170,000/ His motion for repeal was evaded 
by referring the subject to the next session. 2 In 
May, 1770, soon after the prorogation, Hillsborough 
sent a letter to the colonial governors, announcing 
the intention to repeal the Townshend act so far as 
it imposed duties on British goods, such duties 
''having been laid contrary to the true principles 
of commerce"; and adding that the administration 
had never intended to u lay any further taxes upon 
America for the purpose of raising a revenue." 

Accordingly, on March 5 (the day of the " Boston 
massacre"), Lord North, the new prime-minister, 
moved a repeal of the Townshend act, except the 
part imposing a duty on tea. In support of his 
motion he said the act had given birth to "dan- 
gerous combinations beyond the Atlantic," and 
created "much dissatisfaction" among British mer- 
chants; and he declared that "it must astonish 
every reasonable man to think how so preposterous a 
law," laying a tax on many articles of British manu- 
facture, "could originally obtain existence from a 
British legislature." The retention of the duty on 
tea he justified on the ground that through the 
drawback allowed the cost of tea in the provinces 
was actually lowered, and because it was needful to 
assert the supremacy of Parliament. "The proper- 

1 Hildreth, United States, II., 552. 

2 Cobbett- Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 6a?. 


est time to exert our right of taxation is when the 
right is refused. The properest time for making 
resistance is when we are attacked." 1 An amend- 
ment by Pownall to include the tax on tea in the 
repeal was defeated by a large majority. Hence 
in April the law imposing a duty on glass, paper, 
and painters' colors was formally rescinded; but, 
in the spirit of the declaratory act of 1766, to sup- 
port the right of parliamentary taxation, the duty 
on tea was retained. 2 In connection with this 
measure the government pledged itself to raise no 
further revenue in America ; and the detested quar- 
tering act — limited by its terms to three years — 
was allowed quietly to expire. 

The retention of the tax on tea was due largely to 
the personal influence of the king; and that he was 
able to have his way in so useless and so perilous 
a measure reveals the utter ineptitude of British 
statesmanship in this critical period. During the 
next three years colonial affairs were directed mainly 
by royal orders. In consequence of the partial 
repeal of the Townshend acts, commerce between 
England and America began to improve. The 
boycott of British goods had been severely felt in 
England: from £2,378,000, in 1768, exports to 
America had fallen to £1,634,000, in 1769. 3 The 
non-importation agreements were now discontinued, 

1 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 853-855. 

2 10 George III., chap, xvii 

3 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVI., 855. 


except that everywhere were formed associations 
whose members pledged themselves not to drink 
tea upon which the tax had been paid. For the 
year 1770 the amount of imports from Great Britain 
rose to £1,925,571, while the next year it rose to 
over £4,200,000. 

But the discontent of the colonies was not allowed 
to slumber. In various ways the controversy was 
kept up, and feeling became more and more bitter. 
During the autumn of 1769 the New York assembly, 
then dominated by the more moderate party, com- 
plied with the billeting act and was allowed to 
resume its functions. For censuring this conduct 
of the assembly and calling a public meeting to 
consider it, Alexander McDougall, afterwards a 
major-general in the revolutionary army, was com- 
mitted to prison by the house. In sympathy with 
the latter, the soldiers quartered in the city cut 
down a liberty-pole erected by the patriotic party. 
The townsmen retaliated ; and thus frequent brawls 
between them and the troops took place. 1 

The royal orders now began to work their evil 
influence. Before Bernard's departure from the 
province the general court had been prorogued 
until January 10, 1770, to meet as usual in Boston. 
But in consequence of instructions from the secretary 
of state, announcing the king's pleasure, Hutchinson 
called the meeting in Cambridge for March 15. 

1 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VIII., 198, 199-201, 206-209, 
212-214, 220. 


The house protested "against any such reason for 
proroguing this court, as being an infraction of our 
essential rights, as men and citizens, as well as those 
derived to us by the British constitution, and the 
charter of this colony"; 1 and it requested a copy 
of the royal instructions. 

Hutchinson declined the request, " because the 
king has been pleased to order that no letters nor 
instructions to his governor, shall be communicated, 
without his majesty's special leave"; nor would he 
yield to the repeated request of the house, that the 
general court should be called in the usual place, 
although as a matter of fact the king had given him 
discretion so to do. By a vote of 96 out of 102 the 
assembly declared the removal to Cambridge " a very 
great grievance," committed without the "least 
probability of serving any one good purpose," and 
declined to do business while " thus constrained to 
hold their sessions out of the town of Boston." 2 
Becoming bolder, it affirmed that "the people and 
their representatives have a right to withstand the 
abusive exercise of a legal and constitutional pre- 
rogative of the crown"; and incidentally it con- 
demned the order to rescind "the excellent resolu- 
tion of a former house " as an " impudent mandate." 3 

The wrangle growing out of this useless but 

1 Bradford, Mass. Slate Papers, 194, 195. On this controversy, 

see Cushing, Transition to Commonwealth, 31 et seq. 

2 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 198, 215, 242, 248. 
5 Ibid., 242, 248. 


dangerous act of interference took up two whole 
sessions of the assembly; and when at length the 
court, under protest, consented to proceed to busi- 
ness, after a day of solemn humiliation and prayer, 1 
another controversy was at hand. By royal order 
Hutchinson had reluctantly removed from the castle 
the garrison in the pay of the province and placed 
the fort in charge of the regular troops. 2 The house 
bitterly complained of this action, saying that 
"false representations" must have been made to 
the king, "to induce him to pass an order, which 
implies a total want of confidence, and carries in it 
the evident marks of his royal displeasure"; and 
alleging that the authority vested in the governor 
by the charter must thus be " superseded by instruc- 
tion." For " if the custody and government of that 
fortress" are now "lodged with the military power, 
independent of the supreme civil magistrate . . . , 
it is so essential an alteration of the constitution, 
as must justly alarm a free people." 3 In secret 
session of the council Hutchinson disclosed his in- 
structions. Feeling that he was executing an un- 
wise and probably illegal order, he went to the 
castle, discharged the garrison without warning, 
and then retired to his country-house at Mil- 
ton. 4 The same royal order made the harbor at 

1 Hildreth, United States, II., 560. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., 111., 307 et seq. 

3 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 258. 

4 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 389. 


Boston the rendezvous of the king's ships in Amer- 
ican waters. 

In April, 1771, Hutchinson announced his ap- 
pointment as governor; and in the following July, 
under another royal order, he gave rise to a new 
controversy by vetoing a bill providing for the annual 
income-tax, which, according to custom, included 
the salaries of the crown officers. For this the house 
rebuked him, saying that withholding his assent 
from the bill, " merely by force of instruction, is 
effectually vacating the charter, and giving in- 
structions the force of laws, within this province." 1 
The popular resentment was still further provoked 
by Hutchinson's announcement on June 13, 1772, 
that henceforth his salary would be paid by the 
crown. The house declared this to be an "in- 
fraction upon the charter in a material point,' 9 
whereby a most important trust was wrested out of 
its hands; and it refused to provide for the repair 
of the province house while occupied by a governor 
not drawing his whole support from the general 
assembly. 2 Following close upon this, in August, 
came the news that in the same way the judges were 
to be made dependent on the royal favor. 3 The 
effect of this measure in advancing party organiza- 
tion will presently be considered. 

While these events were taking place in Massa- 

1 Bradford, Mass. Slate Papers, 295, 306. 
* Ibid., 324-331. 

a Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 361. 


chusetts the other provinces were harassed by 
similar orders from the ministry, issued " under the 
king's sign manual, with the privy seal annexed." 
Each province received a set of instructions ac- 
cording to local circumstances, so that a general 
issue upon them could not be made. 1 They dealt 
with a variety of subjects. Sometimes the assem- 
blies were arbitrarily dismissed. In Georgia the 
governor vetoed the choice of Dr. Jones as speaker 
because he was "a very strong Liberty Boy." The 
house pronounced the veto a breach of privilege and 
a violation of the liberties of the people. 2 Thereupon 
Hillsborough ordered the governor to veto the choice 
of the next speaker, and to dissolve the assembly 
in case the right to do so were questioned. This 
command was obeyed to the letter. 3 

South Carolina in 1769 — constrained by the de- 
mands of the settlers of the "up country," who 
were "clamorous for courts upon any terms" — had 
reluctantly provided perpetual salaries for the 
judges, although these would be appointed during 
the king's pleasure. 4 Thereafter Rawlins Lowndes 
and other judges from the colony were dismissed, 
and in 1772 persons from Great Britain were sent out 
to take their place. Since March, 1771, there had 
been no legislation, because the assembly resented 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 252. 

* Jones, Georgia, II., 117-119; Stevens, Georgia, II,, 71. 

8 Jones, Georgia, II., 122-124. 

4 McCrady, South Carolina, 1719-1796, 623-643. 


the action of the governor, who, under a royal in- 
struction, refused his assent to bills appropriating 
money for the " Supporters of the Bill of Rights," 
an English "association to raise means to pay the 
debts of John Wilkes and to provide for his support 
and his expenses while imprisoned." 1 Moreover, 
in 1772, the governor, Lord Charles Montagu, 
stirred up another quarrel with the assembly by 
convening it at Beaufort, seventy-five miles from 
Charleston, the usual place of sitting. 2 

The indignation of the people of Virginia was 
aroused by a much more serious grievance. In 
1770 the king, in the interest of British merchants, 
issued an instruction commanding the governor 
"upon pain of the highest displeasure, to assent to 
no law by which the importation of slaves should 
be in any respect prohibited or obstructed." In 
the address against this order, the burgesses in 1772 
declared that "the importation of slaves into the 
colonies from the coast of Africa hath long been 
considered as a trade of great inhumanity, and 
under its present encouragement, we have too much 
reason to fear will endanger the very existence of 
your Majesty's American dominions. We are sen- 
sible that some of your Majesty's subjects in Great 
Britain may reap emoluments from this sort of 

1 McCrady, South Carolina, 1719-1776, 662-664, 683-692; 
Smith, South Carolina, 170, 369-3S6. 

2 McCrady, South Carolina, 17 19-1776, 693-699; Smith, South 
Carolina, 380 et seq. 


traffic ; but when we consider that it greatly retards 
the settlement of the colonies with more useful in- 
habitants, and may in time have the most destructive 
influence, we presume to hope that the interest of a 
few will be disregarded, when placed in competition 
with the security and happiness of such numbers 
of your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects. . . . 
Deeply impressed with these sentiments, we most 
humbly beseech your Majesty to remove all those 
restraints on your . . . governors of this colony, 
which inhibit their assenting to such laws as might 
check so very pernicious a commerce." 1 Yet at 
the very time when George III. was thus fostering 
the slave-trade in America, Chief -Justice Mansfield 
rendered the famous decision which in effect de- 
clares a slave free the instant he sets foot on the 
soil of England. 

An unwise assertion of prerogative in Maryland 
was producing similar effects. By proclamation in 
1770 the governor revived a law regulating fees of 
officers "which had expired by limitation, in this 
way asserting the right to levy taxes." 2 The con- 
troversy thus aroused, dividing the colony into 
two parties, was kept up until the Revolution . 

In Rhode Island the execution of the revenue laws 
led to a serious act of violence. Lieutenant Duding- 

1 Miscellaneous Papers, in Va. Hist. Soc, Collections, new 
series, VI., 14. 

3 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 253 ; Scharf, Maryland, II., 
124 et seq. 


ston, commander of the Gaspee, a schooner carrying 
eight guns, had given offence by his arbitrary and 
unlawful methods. "He stopped all vessels, in- 
cluding small market boats, without showing his 
authority for so doing; and even sent the property 
he had illegally seized to Boston for trial, contrary 
to an act of Parliament, which required such trials to 
be held in the colonies where the seizures were 
made. ,, 1 Moreover, he is said to have searched for 
smuggled goods with needless violence; and in 
general he made himself " extremely obnoxious to 
the colony, in which smuggling was one of the most 
flourishing and most popular trades." 2 

On complaint of inhabitants of Providence, Chief- 
Justice Hopkins held "that no commander of any 
vessel has a right to use any authority in the body 
of the colony, without previously applying to the 
Governor, and showing his warrant for so doing; 
and also being sworn to a due exercise of his office." 3 
Dudingston appealed to the admiral, who fully sus- 
tained his course. June 9, 1772, lured into shallow 
water by a boat which it was chasing, the Gaspee 
ran aground. In the evening the ship was boarded 
by an armed party from Providence. Dudingston 
was shot and fell on deck seriously wounded, the 
crew were bound and placed on shore, and the ship 
burned to the water's edge. The manner in which 

1 Bartlett, in R. I. Col. Records, VII., 60. 
a Lecky, England, III., 405. 
3 R. I. Col. Records, VII. , 60. 


this outrage was dealt with by the ministry soon 
gave the colonists new cause for complaint. 1 

The rule of the colonies by royal orders was thus 
generally resented as unconstitutional. "The min- 
istry," it was said, "have substituted discretion for 
law." 2 For two years this policy had caused irrita- 
tion and strife. It was now about to prepare the 
way for the united resistance of America to Great 
Britain by affording the immediate motive for a 
revolutionary party organization. 

In Massachusetts Samuel Adams had already 
become the centre of political agitation. He pos- 
sessed precisely the qualities which belong to a con- 
summate revolutionary leader. The very narrow- 
ness of view which often prevented him from seeing 
the merits of his adversaries only added to this 
power. He had unbounded faith in democratic 
self-government. To us he is perhaps best known 
as the "man of the town-meeting." He reverenced 
the people and was almost fanatical in his zeal for 
constitutional liberty. He had indomitable will, 
great tenacity of purpose, and unflinching courage. 
His integrity cannot justly be impeached. In his 
religious prejudices and beliefs he was a puritan of 
the puritans. He was poor in worldly goods, simple 
in manner and dress, and able to enter sympatheti- 

1 Bartlett, Destruction of the Gaspee, in R. I. Col. Records, VII., 
57-192; Arnold, Hist, of R. I., II., 309-320. 

* R. H. Lee, Arthur Lee, L, 248; Frothingham, Rise of the 
Republic, 255. 

VOL. VIII. 18 


cally into the thoughts and feelings of plain men. 
Much of his power lay in his ability to persuade 
and lead the fishermen, rope-makers, and ship- 
masters of Boston. Moreover, he possessed literary 
skill of a high order. His almost innumerable 
papers during the revolutionary period are compact, 
sometimes even elegant, in form, and many of them 
masterly in their grasp of the great problems with 
which they deal. He. was decidedly the "penman 
of the Re volution.' * 

In addition to his other gifts, Samuel Adams had 
a rare talent for practical politics. He displayed 
a capacity for organization sometimes lapsing into 
intrigue, a foresight sometimes sinking into cunning, 
which render him the prototype of a long line of 
American politicians. It is said that "he had an 
hereditary antipathy to the British government, 
for his father seems to have been rained by the 
restrictions the English parliament imposed on the 
circulation of paper money, and a bank in which 
his father was largely concerned had been dissolved 
by act of parliament. " 1 It is, indeed, likely that this 
incident did not tend to lessen his dislike of the 
British colonial policy. But to suppose that his 
hatred of monarchy and the English church 2 was 
essentially due to a feeling of personal wrong or to 
personal spite would show little understanding of 

1 Lecky, England, III., 391. See especially Davis, Provincial 
Banks: Land and Silver, in Colonial Soc. of Mass., Publications, 
HI., 38-40. 

2 Cf. Brooks Adams, Emancipation of Mass., 347 et seq. 


Samuel Adams or of the real causes of the American 

• From the first menace of the stamp tax Adams 
taught the necessity of union. For some time he 
held under consideration a scheme for party or- 
ganization through committees of correspondence. 1 
The instructions of the ministry requiring the judges 
to receive their salaries from the crown gave him 
opportunity to carry out his project. On October 
5, 1772, in a Boston journal he wrote, "Is Life, 
Property, and everything dear and sacred to be sub- 
mitted to the Decisions of PENSIONED judges? . . . 
Let Associations and Combinations be everywhere set 
up to consult and recover our just Rights." 2 He ap- 
pealed to the town-meeting; but the other leaders 
were lukewarm, and his first efforts were not success- 
ful. November 2, 1772 — taking advantage of the 
anger caused by Hutchinson's arrogant answer to the 
resolution of inquiry — he moved " that a Committee 
of Correspondence be appointed to consist of twenty- 
one Persons — to state the Rights of the Colonists and 
of this Province in particular, as Men, as Christians, 
and as Subjects; to communicate and publish the 
same to the several Towns . . . and to the World as 
the sense of this Town, with the Infringements and 
Violations thereof that have been, or from time to 
time may be made." 3 

1 Cf. Collins, Committees of Correspondence, in Amer. Hist. Assn., 
Report, 1901, 1., 243-271. * Hosmer, Samuel A dams, 194, 195. 
'Boston Town Records, 1770-1777, p. 93. 


Though at first opposed by some of Adams's 
associates, this motion was at last unanimously 
adopted. November 20, the committee of corre- 
spondence submitted to a town-meeting in Faneuil 
Hall its report, which comprised a "State of the 
Rights of the Colonists," drafted by Samuel Adams; 
a " List of the Infringements and Violations of 
Those Rights," prepared by Joseph Warren; and 
a "Letter of Correspondence" with the other towns 
of the province, written by Benjamin Church. To- 
gether these papers constituted the most radical and 
comprehensive statement of the case of the colonists 
which had yet appeared. 1 The towns began at once 
to appoint similar committees ; and during the early 
months of 1773 their replies were sent in. The 
substructure of a future national organization was 
thus laid. "The whole frame of it," says Hutchin- 
son, "was calculated to strike the colonists with a 
sense of their just claim to independence, and to 
stimulate them to assert it." 2 According to Daniel 
Leonard, "this is the foulest, subtlest, and most 
venomous serpent ever issued from the egg of 
sedition. I saw the small seed when it was planted ; 
it was a grain of mustard. I have watched the 
plant until it has become a great tree." 3 

Nevertheless, there seemed to be a lull in the storm. 

1 Boston Town Records, 1770-1777, pp. 94-108. 
1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 366 et seq. 
• Quoted from Hosmer, Samuel Adams, 204. Cf. Cushing, 
Transition to Commonwealth Government, 95 et seq. 


Not a single committee of correspondence was at 
that time chosen outside of Massachusetts. Other 
colonies, however, were drawn into line by the 
arrival of a new royal order from Lord Dartmouth, 
successor to Hillsborough in the colonial office, 
creating a special commission 1 to investigate the 
affair of the Gaspee. The commission was author- 
ized to arrest the offenders, if discovered, and 
send them to England for trial. No legal evidence 
could be secured; and so in June the commission 
finally adjourned without accomplishing its pur- 
pose. 2 

Already the proposal to transport Americans to 
England for trial had borne fruit. In Virginia, on 
March 12, 1773, the house of burgesses appointed a 
standing committee for intercolonial correspondence. 
Among its eleven members were Richard Bland, 
Dabney Carr, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, 
and Thomas Jefferson. In a set of resolutions the 
committee was directed to inform itself " particularly 
of the principles and authority on which was con- 
stituted a court of inquiry, said to have been lately 
held in Rhode Island, with powers to transport 
persons accused of offences committed in America to 
places beyond the seas to be tried" ; and the speaker 
was instructed to send a copy of the resolutions to 
each of the other assemblies on the continent, with 
a request to appoint a similar committee of cor- 

1 R. I. Col. Records, VII., 108 et seq. 
* Ibid., 120 et seq. 


respondence. 1 By July 8, five colonies — Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 
and South Carolina — had complied with the request. 

Thus in these two sets of committees, local and 
provincial, the foundation of American independence 
was laid. " The Union of the Colonies, which is now 
taking place," it was said in the press, "is big with 
the most important advantages to this continent. 
From this Union will result our Security from all 
foreign enemies. . . . The United Americans may 
bid Defiance to all their open as well as secret foes ; 
therefore let it be the Study of all to make the 
Union of the Colonies firm and perpetual, as it will 
be the great Basis for Liberty and every public 
Blessing in America." 2 

1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 279-281, 284. 
? "Sidney," in New Hampshire Gazette, July 2, 1773. 





IN his address to the general court, January 6, 
1773, Hutchinson entered into an elaborate de- 
fence of the legislative supremacy of Parliament; 
alleged that the province was in a "disturbed and 
disordered state;" and as the cause thereof con- 
demned the recent resolves of the towns as denying 
"the supreme authority of parliament," and tend- 
ing "to alienate the affections of the people from 
their sovereign." " I know of no line," he declared, 
"that can be drawn between the supreme authority 
of parliament and the total independence of the 
colonies." 1 His challenge was promptly accepted, 
and each house presented a strong argument in 
defence of the American theory. The assembly 
urged that if there be no line between the " supreme 
authority of parliament and total independence of 
the colonies," then they must be "totally inde- 
pendent" ; for it could not " have been the intention 
of the parties in the compact, that we should be 
reduced to a state of vassalage." But to draw 

1 Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 336, 340. 



the line of distinction would be "an arduous under- 
taking, and of very great importance to all the other 
colonies ; and therefore, could we conceive of such a 
line, we should be unwilling to propose it, without 
their consent in Congress." 1 

A few months after this controversy had thus 
elicited the formidable suggestion of continental 
union, Hutchinson had to face a storm which com- 
pletely wrecked his influence in the province. One 
day in December, 1772, Franklin, who was now 
agent for Massachusetts, was assured by a gentle- 
man that all the grievances complained of took their 
rise, not from the British government, but were pro- 
jected, proposed, or solicited by "some of the most 
respectable among the Americans themselves, as 
necessary measures for the welfare of that country." 2 
Franklin was incredulous; but a few days later, in 
proof of his statement, the gentleman placed in his 
hands a number of letters which Hutchinson, Oliver, 
and other crown officers, all except Charles Paxton 
native Americans, had written to Thomas Whately, 
formerly a member of Parliament and secretary to 
the treasury under George Grenville, but at the time 
of the correspondence (17 68-1 7 69), a private person 
having no official connection with the government. 8 
Franklin gained permission to send these letters 

1 Bradfold, Mass. State Papers, 342-364, 368-396. 

2 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 410 et seq. 
'Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 404, n.; Diary ana" 

Letters, I., 83. 




to Massachusetts, to be inspected by a few of the 
leading men, under a pledge that they should 
neither be copied nor printed. The pledge was dis- 
regarded by the recipients, and, after being privately 
circulated for several months, the letters were pub- 
lished under the pretext that Hutchinson by im- 
plication had given his consent. 1 

The fiercest indignation of the patriotic party was 
excited. Hutchinson was put in a hard position. 
He was able and upright, a thorough loyalist, and 
had openly opposed the course taken by the rev- 
olutionary leaders. But though honestly meant, 
and very moderate in tone, the letters contained 
some statements that he did not intend should be 
made public. He had not directly attacked the 
charter of Massachusetts, nor recommended the use 
of military force; but he had declared that " there 
must be an abridgment of what are called English 
liberties"; for he doubted "whether it is possible 
to project a system of government in which a 
colony, three thousand miles distant from the par- 
ent state, shall enjoy all the liberty of the parent 
state." 3 This passage raised a storm of criticism. 
Oliver had gone much further than Hutchinson, 
suggesting that a colonial aristocracy might be 
formed from the council, and hinting that some of 

1 See the message of June 9, 1773, in Bradford, Mass. State 
Papers, 404. Cf. Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 441; 
Lecky, England, III., 414. 

* Letters Sent to Great Britain, by his Excellency ThoniQS 
Hutchinson, etc. (Boston, 1773), 16. 


the "original incendiaries" might be summarily 
dealt with ; while Paxton, one of the commissioners 
of customs, made a plain demand for "two or three 
regiments." 1 Under the circumstances, it was in- 
evitable that the writers should be denounced as 
traitors to their country. 

To render a just judgment in this delicate "case 
of conscience" is by no means easy. Franklin had 
taken advantage of stolen private correspondence. 
He might urge as a palliative, but merely as a 
palliative, that, so far as the British government was 
concerned, the sanctity of the mails was a "trans- 
parent fiction." Franklin's own letters had been 
tampered with. The records of the times contain 
ample proof that the sacredness of confidential 
correspondence was constantly ignored by public 
officials. "The confidential clerks of the Post- 
master-General were sometimes engaged twelve 
hours on a stretch in rifling private letters. The 
King, to judge by the endorsements in his own hand, 
— which marked the hour and minute when he re- 
ceived each packet of intercepted documents, and 
the hour and minute when he returned it to the 
Office, — must have passed a great deal of his time 
in reading them." 2 On the other hand, it might 
plausibly be contended that the letters of Hutchin- 
son and Oliver were quasi public papers. They were 

1 Letters sent to Great Britain, by his Excellency Thomas Hutch- 
inson, etc. (Boston, 1773), 28-33, 37- Cf. Hosmer, Samuel Ad- 
ams, 223. 2 Trevelyan, American Revolution, I., 170. 




shown to Grenville and other statesmen, and may- 
have had some influence in fostering a sentiment 
hostile to the colonies. Franklin and the Massa- 
chusetts leaders might well excuse the violation of 
the sanctity of private correspondence in the case of 
those whom they believed to be public enemies. ' ' The 
writers, too," says Franklin, "had taken the same 
liberty with the letters of others," transmitting to 
England "those of Rosne and Auchmuty in Confirma- 
tion of their own calumnies against the Americans." 1 
Indeed, a grave responsibility was assumed if 
Hutchinson and the other American office-holders 
under the crown, even in small part, had suggested 
the disastrous policy of the British government. 
This was Franklin's principal alleged reason for 
sending the letters. In transmitting them he wrote, 
" For my own part, I cannot but acknowledge, that 
my resentment against this country, for its arbitrary 
measures in governing us, conducted by the late 
minister, has, since my conviction by these papers 
that those measures were projected, advised, and 
called for by men of character among ourselves, and 
whose advice must therefore be attended with 
all the weight that was proper to mislead, and 
which could therefore scarce fail of misleading; my 
own resentment, I say, has by this means been 
exceedingly abated. / think they must have the 
same effect with you." 2 Franklin's conduct appears 

1 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 412. 

2 Ibid., 414. 


to be justified by his sense of public duty. Never- 
theless, the use made of the letters in Massachusetts 
had a result precisely the opposite of that which he 
anticipated. Instead of creating a better feeling 
towards the mother-country, the spirit of bitter- 
ness and resistance was greatly intensified. The 
incident undoubtedly hastened the coming of the 

In England it was not known by whom the letters 
were sent to America ; and to this day the name of 
the person who gave them to Franklin has not been 
disclosed. 1 William Whately, brother and executor 
of Thomas, and a certain John Temple, who had 
had access to the papers, were publicly accused ; and 
in December, 1773, a duel between them grew out 
of the charge. To prevent further mischief — for 
Whately was wounded — Franklin wrote to the Public 
Advertiser, declaring that he alone was the " person 
who obtained and transmitted to Boston the letters 
in question," whose "tendency was to incense the 
mother-country against her colonies, and, by the 
steps recommended, to widen the breach." 2 

The court party was in high spirits. The as- 
sembly of Massachusetts had petitioned 3 for the re- 
moval of Hutchinson and Oliver. January 29, 1774* 
the petition was heard before the committee of the 
privy council for plantation affairs. Wedderburn, 

1 Morse, Franklin, 177. 

'Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 435. 

s Bradford, Mass. State Papers, 405-409. 



the solicitor-general, appeared for Hutchinson and 
Oliver; but the real purpose of the meeting was to 
convict Franklin. The courtiers were there in full 
force. They had been " invited, as to an entertain- 
ment, and there never was such an appearance 
of privy councillors on any occasion, not less than 
thirty-five, besides an immense crowd of other 
auditors." 1 Encouraged by their admiring ap- 
plause, Wedderburn proceeded, in his most brilliant 
and virulent manner, to indict Franklin as a thief. 
" Having hitherto aspired after fame by his writings, 
he will henceforth esteem it a libel to be called a 
man of letters — homo trium liter arum." 2 The com- 
mittee pronounced the petition of the Massachusetts 
assembly "false, groundless, and scandalous, and 
calculated only for the seditious purpose of keeping 
up a spirit of clamor and discontent in the prov- 
ince,' 9 and held that Franklin's silence proved the 
charge true that he had "surreptitiously obtained 
the letters." Franklin was at once dismissed from 
his office of deputy postmaster-general; 3 and, per- 
ceiving that he could no longer be useful, he re- 
signed his agency for Massachusetts. In the spring 
of 1775 he went home, and did not return to Europe 
until he came as the representative of an indepen- 
dent nation. 

In Massachusetts, Samuel Adams was urging the 

1 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), VIII., no. 

2 I.e., "f-u-r," Latin for thief. Cf. Franklin, Works (Sparks's 
ed.), IV., 447 et seq. 3 Ibid., VIII., 113. 


call of a general congress, and through the Boston 
committee of correspondence he was zealously stir- 
ring up hostility to the ministerial policy. He was 
perhaps the first American to foresee independence. 
Apparently he now earnestly desired it ; and at this 
moment an act of violence speedily led on to its 
realization, for the Boston tea-party and its im- 
mediate results were followed by a continental 
congress and the appeal to arms. 

The king and his ministers had committed a seri- 
ous blunder in retaining the tax on tea in order to 
assert the parliamentary right; for the colonies 
determined to resist the tax in order to deny that 
right. Indirectly the same revenue might have been 
derived from America by levying in England a duty 
of threepence a pound ; in other words, by reducing 
by that amount the drawback allowed the East 
India Company. Indeed, Hutchinson believed that 
if all the duties laid by Townshend in 1767 "had 
been paid upon exportation from England, and ap- 
plied to the purpose proposed, there would not have 
been any opposition made to the act. It would 
have been a favour to the colonies. The saving upon 
tea would have been more than the whole paid upon 
the other articles. The consumer in America would 
have paid the duty, just as much as if it had been 
charged upon importation.' ' 1 

The Townshend revenue act laid an import duty 
of threepence a pound on tea shipped to America. 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay., III., 179. 



By the supplementary statute of the same year, on 
such shipments was allowed a drawback of the 
whole import duty paid in England, amounting at 
the time to about twenty-four per cent, of the gross 
price; but on the express condition that the East 
India Company, in whose interest the arrangement 
was made, should make good any loss of revenue by 
reason of such drawback. 1 As a result, in 1769 tea 
was actually sold in Boston at ninepence a pound 
less than before the acts. Moreover, an earlier 
statute 2 allowed tea to be exported to America 
without paying any of the inland duties still charged 
in England, amounting to twenty-five per cent, of 
the gross price. Therefore, according to Hutchin- 
son, the accuracy of whose statement is sustained 
by recent research, tea "was cheaper than it had 
ever been sold by the illicit traders; and the poor 
people in America drank the same tea in quality, 
at three shillings the pound, which the people in 
England drank at six shillings." 3 

The business of the company did not prosper as 
well as expected. During the first four years the 
sales nearly doubled; but to make up the loss of 
revenue the company was obliged to pay over 
£1 15,000. A further concession was therefore 
sought; and in 1772, on exportation to America, a 

* 7 George III., chap, lvi.; MacDonald, Select Charters, 237- 
330. *2i George II., chap. xiv. 

3 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 351; Farrand, "The 
Taxation of Tea, 1767-1773," in Am. Hist. Review, III., 267. 


rebate of three-fifths of the import duty was granted ; 
while the company was no longer required to make 
up the loss of revenue. 1 But the non-importation 
agreements now stood in the way: the colonists 
would not drink the taxed tea at any price. In 
1773 "about seventeen million pounds of tea lay 
unsold in the warehouses" of the company. It had 
to face impending bankruptcy ; and the government 
must lose its annual payment of £400,000. 

Again Parliament came to the company's aid. 
The whole of the import duty was now remitted on 
exportation to America. 2 At the same time, by ob- 
taining a license from the treasury, the company was 
permitted to send the tea directly from its ware- 
houses to its own agents or consignees in America. 
The middleman's profit would thus be saved. For 
hitherto it had been necessary to ship the tea to 
England and to sell it at public auction to the 
merchants, who then exported it to the colonies. 
Under the new concession the company could have 
afforded to sell the tea, not merely at ninepence 
a pound less than in England, but at a small "frac- 
tion of the price" obtained there. 3 

However, against the advice of Treco thick for the 
company, the tax of threepence a pound was still 
exacted; and this effort to force the tea on the 

1 12 George III., chap, lx.; Macpherson, Commerce with India, 
194, 416; Farrand, in Am. Hist. Review, III., 269. 
2 13 George III., chap, xliv.; Lecky, England, III., 419. 
1 Farrand, in Am. Hist. Review, 111., 269. 




colonists was largely due to the king. It is " to no 
purpose making objections," said Lord North, "for 
the king would have it so. The king meant to try 
the question with America." 1 He seems to have 
fancied that the Americans would take the bait and 
forget the principle. If so he was soon undeceived. 
The company selected its agents, among whom 
were the two sons of Hutchinson, and in the autumn 
of 1773 sent a number of ships laden with tea to 
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. 
The people were determined to prevent the landing 
of the tea, and, by persuasion or menace, to cause 
the agents to resign their commissions. In Charles- 
ton a cargo of two hundred and fifty-seven chests 
arrived December 2. The agents resigned; and 
after the twentieth day, the duty being unpaid, the 
tea was seized by the collector and stored in vaults 
under the exchange. 2 A meeting of the inhabitants 
of Philadelphia resolved that the duty on tea was 
illegal, and that every person who ' 1 countenanced 
the unloading, vending, or receiving the tea, was an 
enemy to his country." 3 In both Philadelphia and 
New York the consignees were induced to resign, 
and the tea was sent back to London. 

More serious events were taking place in Boston, 
where, under authority of the town-meeting, or- 

1 Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), III., 439; Almon, 
Anecdotes of Pitt, II., 242. 

2 McCrady, South Carolina, 1719-1776, p. 727. 
a Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 302. 

VOL vin. — 10 


ganized resistance was guided by Samuel Adams 
and the Boston committee of correspondence, with 
which the committees of four or five neighboring 
places sometimes sat in Faneuil Hall as a sort of 
representative senate. An immense mass-meeting 
of the inhabitants of six towns, held in the Old 
South Church, resolved that "at all events" the tea 
should be sent back without payment of duty. 
When the sheriff of Suffolk read the governor's 
proclamation warning the people "unlawfully as- 
sembled, forthwith to disperse, and to surcease all 
further unlawful proceedings, at their utmost peril," 
he was greeted with insults and derision. The 
agents refused to resign their commissions, and 
took shelter in the castle. Neither clearance papers 
from the collector nor a pass from the governor 
could be obtained by the owners to allow them 
to carry their cargoes back to the Thames. A 
popular guard was placed over the tea ships to 
prevent the tea from being landed ; and the meetings 
of various towns in the province promised aid to 
Boston, even at the hazard of life and property. 

Finally, on the evening of December 16, 1773, the 
last day before the tea, for non-payment of duty, 
might be legally seized by the collector and stored 
at the castle — a party of fifty or sixty men, dressed 
as Mohawk Indians, and directed by Adams, boarded 
the three tea ships at Griffin's wharf, broke open the 
three hundred and forty-two chests of tea, and cast 
their contents into the bay. Clearly the people were 

1774] COERCION 271 

in a dangerous temper ; for this lawless destruction 
of private property was suffered to take place un- 
hindered by the provincial council or the town au- 
thorities, and the offenders were never in any way 
called to account. This riot in Boston was due 
mainly to the sombre fanaticism which sometimes 
clouded the judgment of Samuel Adams; and the 
incident cannot justly be looked upon as an honor 
to his memory. 1 

There were not wanting other indications of an 
impending crisis, which only the highest wisdom 
could avert. "The inhabitants, in many parts of 
the province," says Hutchinson, "were learning the 
use of fire-arms, but not under the officers of the 
regiment to which they belonged. They were 
forming themselves into companies for military 
exercise, under officers of their own choosing ; hint- 
ing the occasion there might soon be for employing 
their arms in defence of their liberties." 2 Through- 
out the country the exultation over the course taken 
by Boston was very ominous: party organization 
was rapidly developed; the assemblies which had 
not yet responded to the Virginia call now appointed 
intercolonial committees of correspondence; and 
local committees, hitherto confined to Massachusetts, 
began to be formed in other provinces. 3 Meantime, 
in February, 1774, the Massachusetts house, by a 

1 Contemporary account in Hart, Contemporaries, II., No. 153. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay. III., 455. 

? Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 31 1-3 13, 


vote of 92 out of 100 members, had impeached Chief - 
Justice Oliver of a high crime and misdemeanor for 
accepting his salary from the crown. On March 30, 
before the impeachment was tried, Hutchinson pro- 
rogued the general court, and a few days later dis- 
solved it. He was not destined to meet it again, 
for after he was superseded by Gage 1 he left for 
England (June 1), and never thereafter saw his 
native land. 

Parliament had to face a serious crisis when it 
met, March 7, 1774. The ministers placed before the 
two houses messages from the king, urging their 
consideration of American affairs. Wise policy 
seemed to require that one of three courses should be 
taken: the colonies might be conciliated by with- 
drawal of the obnoxious measures; or the laws 
should be firmly but justly enforced ; or they might 
be allowed peacefully to separate. Josiah Tucker, 
dean of Gloucester, anticipating in part the thought 
of Turgot regarding the destiny of colonies, advised 
a peaceful separation. He was no friend of the 
Americans; but he believed that the empire would 
be stronger and its economic interests better served 
if they were suffered quietly to set up for themselves. 2 
Burke and Chatham would not hear of a dissolution 
of the empire. "If I could once persuade myself," 
said Chatham, that the Americans "entertain the 
most distant intention of throwing off the legislative 

1 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, III., 459. 

2 Stephens, Turgot, 322-323; Tucker, Political Tracts. 




supremacy and great constitutional superintending 
power and control of the British legislature, I should 
myself be the very first person . . .to enforce that 
power by every exertion this country is capable of 
making." 1 But Chatham, like Burke, would have 
saved the union by conciliation. 

On the other hand, the king was bent on making 
an example of Massachusetts. He was utterly un- 
able to see that there was imminent danger of 
continental resistance. General Gage, recently re- 
turned from America, assured him that "four regi- 
ments stationed in Boston would prevent any dis- 
turbance." "They will be lions while we are 
lambs," he said; "but if we take the resolute part 
they will prove very meek. " 2 Moreover, in England 
a feeling of anger was aroused by the recent acts 
of violence in America. Therefore, an irreparable 
blunder was committed. Instead of adopting one 
of the three courses which wisdom pointed out, the 
ministry proposed invalid statutes as a punishment 
for the unlawful conduct of the colonists. 

Five measures, known in England as the "re- 
pressive" and in America as the "intolerable" acts, 
were speedily carried through Parliament. The 
first of these closed the port of Boston to commerce 
from the first day of the following June until such 

Thackeray, Chatham, II., 274; Cobbett- Hansard, Pari. Hist., 
XVIII. , 203, 204. 

2 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 318; Donne, Corre- 
spondence of George 111., I., 164. 


time as the king by proclamation or order of council 
shall see fit to open it. 1 This he may do when 
satisfied that " peace and obedience to the laws" 
have been restored and the tea paid for; and the 
governor shall have certified that the revenue offi- 
cers have been indemnified for what they suffered 
in the accompanying "riots and insurrections." 
Even coasting vessels carrying food and fuel "for 
the necessary use and sustenance of the inhabitants 
of the said town of Boston" were forbidden to 
deliver their cargoes without a pass, "after having 
been duly searched" by the custom-house officers 
"at Marblehead, in the port of Salem." The 
English ships of war were required to maintain the 

Another statute, known as the "regulating act," 
remodelled the constitution of Massachusetts. The 
practical annulment of a royal charter by the 
legislature was an anomaly in English jurisprudence. 
By this act the members of the council, or upper 
house, hitherto annually chosen by the general as- 
sembly, were to be appointed, as in the royal prov- 
inces, by the king under his sign-manual, and to 
hold office during his pleasure. After July 1 the 
attorney - general, inferior judges, justices of the 
peace, sheriffs, and all other court officers were 
to be appointed and removed by the governor. 
Even the consent of the council was not required 
except for removal of a sheriff. In the same way 

1 14 George III., chap. xix. (March 31, 1774). 




the chief justice and superior judges were to be 
nominated; but these were to hold office during 
the king's pleasure and to be removed only at his 
command. This drastic law did not stop here. 
Henceforth, except for elections, no town-meeting 
might be called without the governor's written 
consent; and in no case might a town -meeting 
transact any business not expressed in the governor's 
leave. Furthermore, grand and petty jurors, hither- 
to elected by the people in the various towns, hence- 
forth were to be "summoned and returned by the 
sheriffs of the respective counties." Thus at one 
stroke the free institutions which had flourished for 
nearly a century and a half were abrogated and a 
centralized system put in their place. The members 
of the assembly might still be chosen by the people ; 
and this was almost the only democratic feature of 
the constitution left untouched. 1 

On its face, the third act was designed to secure a 
fair trial to crown officers or magistrates accused of 
murder or other capital offences. When the gov- 
ernor was satisfied that " an indifferent trial cannot 
be had within the said province," he might send 
persons indicted for such crimes (with the witnesses) , 
if committed while engaged in suppressing riots or 
enforcing the revenue laws, to some other colony 
or to Great Britain to be tried. 2 

These three statutes constituted the coercive 

1 14 George III., chap. xlv. (May 20, 1774). 
2 14 George III., chap, xxxix. (May 20, 1774). 


system. To aid in their enforcement, a fourth act 
legalized the quartering of troops upon the in- 
habitants. 1 With it as a fifth "intolerable" law 
is usually classed the so-called "Quebec act." By 
this statute 2 a civil government was provided for the 
domain ceded by France in 1763. The province of 
Quebec, or Canada, was extended so as to embrace 
the vast region of the future Northwest Territory. 
In effect the Roman Catholic religion, that of the 
great majority of the inhabitants, was established. 
The English criminal law, with trial by jury, was 
sanctioned ; but in all civil suits the old French law, 
without jury trial, was retained. A highly cen- 
tralized system of administration — in spirit not 
unlike that of the French regime — was set up. 
Except for local purposes, the power of taxation was 
reserved by Parliament. All other legislative au- 
thority subject to the royal veto was vested in a 
council appointed by the crown. 

The Quebec act was regarded at the time as one 
of the most serious grievances of the colonies. It 
was denounced as a sop to the Canadian people, 
intended to detach them from the common American 
cause, and as an object-lesson in despotic govern- 
ment such as would satisfy the rulers of Great 
Britain. The Declaration of Independence char- 
acterized it as an act " for abolishing the free 
system of English Laws in a neighboring Prov- 

1 14 George III., chap. liv. (June 2, 1774). 

2 14 George III., chap, lxxxiii. 




ince, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, 
and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at 
once an example and fit instrument for introducing 
the same absolute rule into these colonies." 

Considering the measures which preceded and ac- 
companied this statute, it is, indeed, not surprising 
that the people looked upon the Quebec act with 
suspicion; that they believed it concealed some 
sinister or vindictive motive of the ministry. Yet, 
as a matter of fact, its purpose was entirely mis- 
understood. Of all the grievances of the times this 
one was the least substantial. Careful research 1 has 
clearly demonstrated that the Quebec act was the 
result of a policy which had slowly been evolved 
without regard to the troubles in the other colonies. 
It expressed the honest efforts of British statesmen 
to solve the difficult problem of governing the 
dominion taken from France in 1763. In the first 
place, none of the colonies, least of all Virginia, had 
a good claim to the western lands included within 
the boundary of the new province. So far from 
being designed to abolish "the free system of 
English laws" in Canada, we now know that the 
English law had never there been regularly put in 
force, as evidently intended that it should be by 
the royal proclamation of 1763. Moreover, as early 
as 1768 the ministry had become convinced that it 
would be wise to continue the French civil law in 

1 Coffin, Province of Quebec and Early American Revolution, 
39 et seq. 


that province. An investigation by the crown law- 
yers was then ordered, and eventually upon their 
reports the Quebec act was based. 

The facts are much the same regarding the with- 
holding of representative institutions in Canada. 
There was no design to establish arbitrary govern- 
ment there or to attack the liberties of the other 
colonies. Already in 1765 the question of granting 
an assembly was being earnestly considered. In 
1772, Solicitor - General Wedderburn reported that 
the establishment of such an assembly was inex- 
pedient because of the " peculiar difficulties present- 
ed by the religion of the great mass of the inhabi- 
tants." The debates on the Quebec act clearly 
disclose the real motives for withholding repre- 
sentation. It was felt (1) that "it would be unjust 
to exclude the French Roman Catholic majority, 
and (2) that it would be unsafe to admit it. At- 
torney-General Thurlow asserted without contra- 
diction that no one had claimed that it was at 
present fit to give an assembly to Canada ; and Fox 
admitted that he would not explicitly state that such 
a step was then expedient." 1 

Regarding the motive for extending the boun- 
daries of Quebec to the Ohio and Mississippi, the 
Declaration of Independence seems equally at fault. 
According to Coffin, this step was taken, "not 
through invidious designs against the other colonies, 
but mainly, if not entirely, from considerations 
Coffin, in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1894, p. 276. 




connected solely with the Indians and the fur-trade. 
... It can clearly be established that the steadily 
increasing anarchical character of the conditions in 
these regions had by 1774 convinced the author- 
ities that they should be annexed to some one 
civil government," and almost of necessity the 
province selected was Canada. 1 Furthermore, the 
same writer has shown that the Canadians were by 
no means highly gratified by the provisions of the 
Quebec act continuing the old French civil law and 
virtually establishing the Roman church. On the 
contrary, partly through ignorance of its real pur- 
pose, it tended to alienate them from the Brit- 
ish government. They dreaded a restoration of 
oppressive feudal burdens and compulsory tithes; 
for the abuses of the old regime had extended even 
to the New World. In fact, the act, however well 
meant, proved ill-timed and disastrous. It in- 
creased the discontent of the English colonists, 
and it created a race-antagonism in Canada which 
was destined to bear evil fruit in after days. 2 

l Coffin,in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1894, pp. 278, 279; Coffin, 
Province of Quebec and Early American Revolution, 398-432. 
3 Coffin, Province of Quebec, 488 et seq., 540 et seq. 




HE coercive acts were carried through Parlia 

of America, like Barre and Conway, voted for the 
Boston port bill. On the government side the most 
violent counsels were given. According to Charles 
Van, the 1 * offense in the Americans "was "flagi- 
tious"; the "town of Boston ought to be knocked 
about their ears, and destroyed. . . . You will never 
meet with that proper obedience to the laws of 
this country, until you have destroyed that nest 
of locusts." 2 Lord George Germain favored the 
regulating act in the interest of class - privilege. 
" Put an end to their town-meetings," he cried. " I 
would not have men of a mercantile cast every day 
collecting themselves together and debating about 
political matters; I would have them follow their 
occupations as merchants, and not consider them- 
selves as ministers of that country." 3 

1 For the debates, see Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVII., 
1 163 et seq.; Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 6-61, 
66-104, 111-129, 165-216; Annual Register, 1774. 

2 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVII., 1178. 
9 Ibid., 1 195. 

majorities. 1 Even friends 




But the coercive measures were not adopted 
without solemn warnings from an enlightened oppo- 
sition. The port bill, said Rose Fuller, cannot be 
carried "into execution without a military force." 
In reply, Lord North said he "should not hesitate 
a moment" to use military force to compel "due 
obedience to the laws of this country." The bill for 
transporting persons for trial called out a protest 
in the Lords. Chatham, who had now returned to 
his place in that body and was taking deep interest 
in American affairs, spoke with his old-time power 
against the bill for quartering troops on the colonists. 1 

Burke agreed with Franklin, 2 that it would be wise 
to go back to the state of things before the Grenville 
policy was tried. In supporting a motion for the 
repeal of the tea act he delivered his famous speech 
on taxation. "Revert to your old principles," he 
advised; leave "America, if she has taxable matter 
in her, to tax herself. I am not here going into a 
distinction of rights, nor attempting to mark their 
boundaries. I do not enter into these metaphysical 
distinctions. I hate the very sound of them. Leave 
the Americans as they anciently stood, and these 
distinctions, born of our unhappy contest, will die 
along with it. . . . Be content to bind America by 
laws of trade; you have always done it. Let this 
be your reason for binding their trade. Do not 

1 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVII., 1170, 1172, 1320-1325; 

Rogers, Protests of the Lords, II., 146-148. 

2 Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 432. 


burthen them with taxes; you "were not used to 
do so from the beginning. Let this be your rea- 
son for not taxing. These are the arguments of 
states and kingdoms. Leave the rest to the 
schools ; for there only they may be discussed with 
safety/' 1 

The advice of Burke came too late. The die was 
cast, and the king was "infinitely pleased." 2 The 
first response of America to the port bill left small 
doubt as to the consequences of his folly. 3 A copy 
of the act reached Boston on May 10. Two days 
later a meeting of the committee of correspondence 
with the committees of eight other towns addressed 
the committees in all the provinces, recommending 
a suspension of trade with Great Britain, and 
"suggesting that the single question was whether 
the other colonies would consider Boston as suf- 
fering for the common cause, and resent the injury 
inflicted on her." 4 The next day a letter was sent 
out by the town-meeting making the same sug- 
gestion of commercial non - intercourse in these 
words: "Voted, Nem. Con. that it is the opinion of 
this Town, that if the other Colonies come into a 
joint resolution, to stop all importations from Great 
Britain & Exportations to Great Britain, and every 
part of the ' Vest Indies, till the Act for Blocking up 

1 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVII,, 1264, 1265. 

2 Donne, Correspondence of George III., I., 178, 181, 182, 183, 

3 Cushing, Transition to Commonwealth, 54 et seq. 

4 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 321, 322. 


this Harbor be repealed, the same will prove the 
Salvation of North America & her Liberties." 1 

On the very same day General Gage, coming to 
supersede Hutchinson as governor, entered the 
harbor, bringing with him, or soon followed by, 
four more regiments. Promptly on June 1 the 
blockade of the port was put in force by a cordon of 
British ships, and the official records were removed 
to Salem, which a royal order had made the seat of 
government. 2 A few days later troops and artillery 
were landed unmolested, and from this time forward 
Boston was virtually in the hands of a hostile army. 
"Cannon were planted on its eminences and at the 
single outlet into the country ; troops daily paraded 
the streets, and the place wore the aspect of a 
garrison." 3 

Starvation threatened the town, for directly or 
indirectly its people were mainly dependent upon 
commerce for a living. Food and fuel soon became 
scarce and dear; work was hard to find; the ship- 
yards and rope -walks were idle; house - building 
stopped for want of materials. A committee of the 
town-meeting adopted various expedients for giving 
employment to the poor : a brick-yard was opened on 
the neck; streets were repaved; and " wool, flax, and 
cotton were bought to give labor to poor women"; 
leather "was furnished to the shoemakers and iron 

1 Boston Town Records, ijjo-1777 , 174. . 

2 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 245, 331. 
8 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 325. 


to the blacksmiths, and their finished work taken 
in payment." 1 The appeal for aid found a generous 
response. 2 Windham, Connecticut, sent a flock of 
sheep; Marblehead granted free use of her harbor, 
wharves, and warehouses; a gift of rice came from 
South Carolina. Money was contributed by various 
cities, including New York, London, and even 
Montreal. The Quakers of Pennsylvania sent £2540. 
A subscription-list in Fairfax County, Virginia, was 
headed by George Washington, who gave ^50. 3 

Thus the port bill and the other coercive acts as 
they were successively announced drew the colonists 
together in neighborly sympathy. At the same 
time they served as a powerful revolutionary agent ; 
for the discussion of the Boston proposal of com- 
mercial non-intercourse as a means of retaliation 
speedily led to a continental union. The formation 
of committees of correspondence went on swiftly, 
and from various quarters came the demand for 
a congress. In New York and Philadelphia the 
policy of suspending trade with Great Britain with- 
out general consultation was not received with 
favor ; and in each of these cities a committee of the 
people recommended the appointment of delegates 
to a general congress. 4 The Quakers shrank from 

1 Boston Town Records, iyyo-iyyy , 175 etseq.; Sparks, Men 
Who Made the Nation, 75. 
'Mass. Hist. Soc, Collections, 4th series, IV., 1-278. 
1 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 326. 
4 Force, American Archives, 4th series, L, 295 et seq., 332, 



any course which might provoke an appeal to arms ; 
while in both New York and Pennsylvania there was 
already evidence of the existence of a powerful 
loyalist party. 

Virginia was first to take definite action. May 
24, 1774, the house of burgesses, in resolutions 
drafted by Jefferson, set aside June 1 — when the 
port bill went into effect — 4 'as a day of fasting, 
humiliation, and prayer; devoutly to implore the 
Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity 
which threatens destruction to our civil rights, and 
the evils of civil war; to give us one heart and one 
mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means, 
every injury to American rights ; and that the minds 
of his Majesty and his Parliament may be inspired 
from above with wisdom, moderation, and justice, 
to remove from the loyal people of America all 
cause of danger, from a continued pursuit of meas- 
ures pregnant with their ruin." 1 

Two days later, inasmuch as this paper reflected 
"highly upon his majesty and the parliament of 
Great Britain," Dunmore dissolved the house. At 
the Raleigh tavern, May 27, the burgesses, no longer 
acting as an official legislative body, adopted a res- 
olution recommending an annual congress of all the 
colonies, "to deliberate on those general measures 
which the united interests of America may from 
time to time require." This was sent to the other 
assemblies asking their concurrence; and a con- 

1 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 350. 

VOL. VIII. — 20 


vention of delegates from the several counties of the 
province was called to meet at Williamsburg on 
the first day of the following August. 1 

The first response came from Rhode Island, 
where delegates were chosen June tg. At Salem, 
two days later, the Massachusetts house elected 
five delegates to a continental congress to be held in 
Philadelphia on the first day of September. With 
the designation of the time and place for the meeting 
the call for the congress was now complete. During 
the next two months — while the people were in- 
tensely excited by the passage of the regulating act 
and the proceedings of Gage in putting it in force — 
similar action was taken by ten other colonies. 

The delegates were selected in various ways. 2 
In Pennsylvania and Rhode Island they were 
chosen by the legislature; in Massachusetts by the 
lower house. Sometimes they were appointed in 
conventions or provincial congresses of town or 
county delegates called for the purpose, as in New 
Hampshire, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Vir- 
ginia, and North Carolina. In Connecticut they 
were chosen by the committee of correspondence 
under the authority of the assembly; in South 
Carolina by a public meeting of inhabitants of the 
province held in Charleston, whose action the as- 
sembly ratified. New York, where party antag- 
onism was growing bitter, was irregularly and im- 

1 Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, I., 350, 351, 416; Campbell, 
Virginia, 573. 2 Journals of Congress, I., 2 et seq. 


perfectly represented. In seven wards of the city 
five delegates were elected " by duly certified polls, 
taken by proper persons." These same deputies 
were approved by the districts in Westchester and 
Dutchess and by the city and county of Albany. 
Separate delegates were sent by Suffolk, Orange, and 
Kings. The rest of the province was unrepresented. 1 
This body, later called the First Continental Con- 
gress, began its work in Carpenters' Hall, Phila- 
delphia, September 5, 1774. It was composed, 
when complete, of fifty -five members from twelve 
colonies. Among them were many of the ablest 
men of the country: Stephen Hopkins from Rhode 
Island; Roger Sherman and Silas Deane from Con- 
necticut; John Adams and Samuel Adams from 
Massachusetts; James Duane and John Jay from 
New York; Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, and 
Thomas Miflin from Pennsylvania; Caesar Rodney, 
George Read, and Thomas McKean from Delaware ; 
Henry Middleton, Christopher Gadsden, and the 
two Rutledges from South Carolina; and from 
Virginia an illustrious group comprising Peyton 
Randolph, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, 
Edmund Pendleton, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick 
Henry, and George Washington. One, Stephen 
Hopkins, had taken part in the Albany convention 
just twenty years before; eight were in the Stamp- 
Act Congress; 2 but very few of the others had 

1 Journals of Congress, I., 4, 9, 15. 

2 Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 360. 



ever seen one another before coming to Philadel- 

Not the least important result of the congress was 
the broadening influence produced by the personal 
contact of its members. A rare opportunity for 
social intercourse was afforded. Philadelphia was 
the richest and most cultivated city in America. 
Under the genial glow of its lavish hospitality, 
sectional, political, and religious prejudice became 
softened or melted away entirely. The deputies 
were banqueted by the city and by the Pennsylvania 
assembly, and a ceaseless round of entertainments 
was provided for them in private houses. During 
his fifty-four days in Philadelphia, Washington was 
suffered to dine but nine times at his lodgings. John 
Dickinson drove into the city " day after day in his 
coach drawn by four white horses to take delegates 
out to his beautiful country home where they 
could dine and talk politics." 1 

In particular it is enlightening to observe how 
the provincialism of John Adams gradually gave 
way under the charm of the freer environment. 
Even his sturdy puritanism became somewhat 
toned down. October 9— probably for the first 
time in his life — he "went, in the afternoon, to the 
Romish chapel, and heard a good discourse upon 
the duty of parents to their children, founded in 
justice and charity. The scenery and the music are 
so calculated to take in mankind, that I wonder the 

1 Sparks, Men Who Made the Nation, 102. 


Reformation ever succeeded." Much of his Diary 
is devoted to the breakfasts and dinners to which 
he was invited. "A most sinful feast again," he 
exclaims on September 8; 1 'every thing which 
could delight the eye or allure the taste; curds and 
creams, jellies, sweetmeats of various sorts, twenty 
sorts of tarts, fools, trifles, floating islands, whipped 
sillabubs, . . . Parmesan cheese, punch, wine, porter, 
beer, &c." Yet, after seven weeks' exposure to such 
good cheer, he could write, " Took our departure, in 
a very great rain, from the happy, the peaceful, 
the elegant, the hospitable city of Philadelphia," 
the city of which he had formed anything but a flat- 
tering opinion before this visit. 1 

The congress of 1774 was not thought of by the 
people as a congress in the modern legislative sense. 
It was rather a convention of ambassadors of sub- 
ordinate, but distinct communities which had found 
it needful to take counsel of one another regarding 
a crisis in their common relations to the parent 
state, in order, if possible, to adopt some common 
plan of action. It was essentially an advisory or 
consultative body. In another aspect it may be 
regarded as the completion of the revolutionary 
party organization of which the basis was laid in the 
committees of correspondence. It undertook no 
acts of " sovereign" authority ; although through the 
functions which it exercised, notably the sanction 
of the Association, it prepared the way for the 

1 Adams, Works, II., 370, 395, 402. 


gradual assumption of such authority by the con- 
gress of 1775. The character of the body is dis- 
closed in the instructions or powers of its members. 
These instructions are very similar in substance. 
The assembly of Pennsylvania, to take a typical 
example, resolved: 

" That there is an absolute necessity that a Con- 
gress of deputies from the several colonies, be held 
as soon as conveniently may be, to consult to- 
gether upon the present unhappy state of the colo- 
nies, and to form and adopt a plan for the purpose 
of obtaining redress of American grievances, ascer- 
taining American rights upon the most solid and 
constitutional principles, and for establishing that 
union and harmony between Great Britain and the 
colonies, which is indispensably necessary to the 
welfare and happiness of both." 1 

At the first session of the congress an organization 
was effected. Peyton Randolph was chosen presi- 
dent and Charles Thompson secretary. Although 
not a member, Thompson was a reputable merchant 
and leader of the "liberty men" in Philadelphia. 
An oath of secrecy was taken, and for seven weeks— 
until October 26 — the deliberations were carried on 
behind locked doors. After a long and warm dis- 
cussion it was decided that each colony, small or 
great, should have one vote. It was while debating 
this question that Patrick Henry uttered the famous 
words, " Fleets and armies and the present state of 

1 Journals of Congress, I., 5. 


things show that government is dissolved. . . . The 
distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, 
New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I 
am not a Virginian, but an American." 1 

No record of the debates was made, and just 
what was said during the seven weeks of discussion 
we shall never know. From the few incidents re- 
corded by John Adams 2 and others we are able to 
judge that the proceedings of the congress were often 
discordant and its action far from unanimous. That 
a policy of resistance rather than of concession was 
adopted is due mainly to the ability and stern de- 
termination of the men from Virginia and Massa- 
chusetts, and especially to the political craft and or- 
ganizing power of Samuel Adams. According to his 
antagonist, Joseph Galloway, Adams, "though by 
no means remarkable for brilliant abilities, yet is 
equal to most men in popular intrigue and the 
management of a faction. He eats little, drinks 
little, sleeps little, thinks much, and is most decisive 
and indefatigable in the pursuit of his objects. It 
was this man, who, by his superior application, 
managed at once the faction in Congress at Phila- 
delphia and the factions in New England." 3 On the 
second day, though a strict Congregationalist, 
Adams moved that Mr. Duche, an Episcopalian 
clergyman, should open the session with prayer. " I 
am no bigot," he said ; " I can hear a prayer from a 

1 Adams, Works, II., 366-368. 2 Ibid., 365-402. 

3 Galloway, Historical and Political Reflections, 67. 


man of piety and virtue, who is at the same time 
a friend of his country." 1 This proved to be a 
master-stroke of political finesse in disarming re- 
ligious prejudice. Again, it was through Adams's 
planning that on September 17 the revolutionary 
resolves of the Suffolk convention were placed 
before congress. These declared that " no obedience 
is due from this Province to either or any part" of 
the recent acts of Parliament ; advised the meeting 
of a provincial congress ; directed the tax-collectors 
to pay no money into the treasury until the con- 
stitution should be restored; denounced the "man- 
damus" councillors who refused to resign as "ob- 
stinate and incorrigible enemies of this country"; 
and virtually threatened armed resistance if the 
obnoxious measures were enforced. The resolves 
were published by congress together with its own 
resolutions approving the course taken by Boston 
and the convention in resisting the parliamentary 
measures. 2 

The crisis in the deliberations came September 
28, when congress found itself at the parting of the 
ways, and had to choose between compromise and 
revolution. Joseph Galloway, leader of the party 
of conciliation — of those who censured the minis- 
terial policy but who at all hazards would oppose 
independence — presented a " Plan for a Proposed 
Union between Great Britain and the Colonies." 

1 Adams, Works, II., 368, 369. 

2 Journals of Congress, I., 9-14. 


It provided for a president-general to be appointed 
by the crown, and a grand council composed of 
deputies chosen every three years by the legislatures 
of the several colonies and meeting at least once a 
year. The council was to be "an inferior and 
distinct branch of the British parliament.' ' Its 
acts were to be subject to the veto of Parliament, 
while in turn it might reject the measures of Parlia- 
ment relating to the colonies. 1 It was a worthy and 
sagacious effort to preserve the empire and to pre- 
vent the calamity of civil war. It represented, it is 
said, the views of Golden of New York, and Frank- 
lin of New Jersey, and it was vigorously supported by 
such men as James Duane and John Jay. Edward 
Rutledge thought it "almost a perfect plan"; and 
it is highly significant that it was defeated only by 
a majority of one in a vote of eleven colonies. 2 

The great acts of the congress are the Declaration 
of Rights and Grievances and the Association. By 
the Declaration, in compact and noble phrase, a 
long list of grievances recalling every phase of the 
unhappy controversy of ten years is set forth; and 
the rights claimed by the "inhabitants of the 
English colonies in North America, by the immu- 
table laws of nature, the principles of the English 
constitution, and the several charters or compacts" 
are asserted. Thirteen acts of Parliament are , 
formally enumerated as being "infringements and • 

1 Galloway, Candid Examination, 53. 

2 Adams, Works, II., 387, n. 


violations of the rights of the colonists " whose 
repeal was ''essentially necessary in order to restore 
harmony" between them and Great Britain. In 
particular the five coercive acts are condemned as 
"impolitick, unjust, and cruel, as well as uncon- 
stitutional, and most dangerous and destructive of 
American rights." 1 

The Association was designed to put in force the 
suspension of trade with Great Britain which con- 
gress had already resolved upon. In behalf of 
themselves and the inhabitants of the colonies rep- 
resented, to obtain redress of grievances the dep- 
uties solemnly declare that after December 1, 1774, 
they will neither import nor consume tea or any 
other British goods; nor will they export goods to 
Great Britain, Ireland, or the West Indies after 
September 10, 1775. Furthermore, " we will neither 
import nor purchase, any slave imported after the 
first day of December next; after which time, we 
will wholly discontinue the slave trade." Frugality, 
industry, and domestic manufactures are encour- 
aged. To enforce the agreement, in every county, 
city, and town a committee is to be chosen, " whose 
business it shall be attentively to observe the con- 
duct of all persons," and if any one violates the 
Association, forthwith to cause the truth "to be 
published in the gazette," to the end that the foes 
to the rights of British America may be "publicly 

1 Journals of Congress, I., 19-22; MacDonald, Select Charters, 


known" and "universally contemned." The com- 
mittees of correspondence in the respective colonies 
are charged frequently to " inspect the entries of their 
custom-houses," and to keep each other informed 
regarding all matters touching the Association. 1 

In the history of the American nation the Asso- 
ciation of 1774 holds an honorable place. It is 
virtually the beginning of the federal union. It 
is the only thing resembling at all a written con- 
stitution which the people had until the Articles 
of Confederation were finally ratified nearly seven 
years later. 

Besides the two organic acts already considered, 
congress presented a petition to the king; an ad- 
dress to the people of Quebec inviting them to 
send delegates to the congress called for the follow- 
ing year, both drafted by Dickinson; an address 
to the people of Great Britain, of which Jay was the 
author; and a memorial to the people of the colonies. 
All these papers are marked by sobriety, dignity, 
and power. When laid before Parliament in 1775, 
Chatham declared that for "solidity of reason, force 
of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion under a com- 
plication of difficult circumstances, no nation or 
body of men, can stand in preference to the general 
congress at Philadelphia." 2 

1 Journals of Congress, I., 23-26; MacDonald, Select Charters, 

2 Journals of Congress, I., 26-49; Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. 
Hist., XVIII., 155, n. 



ITHIN six months after the adjournment of 

Y Y the First Continental Congress, the Association 
of 1774 was ratified by all the colonies except 
Georgia and New York. As in the case of choosing 
delegates, this action was taken in conventions, 
provincial congresses, or regular legislative assem- 
blies. At the same time local committees were 
everywhere appointed to enforce the Association. 1 
Even before it was adopted the terrorism of loyalists 
had begun. Tarring and feathering was becoming 
the order of the day. The time had now come 
when men must choose sides. Loyalists were bitter- 
ly stigmatized as Tories and traitors, and the cause 
of liberty was sullied by acts of intolerance and 
persecution — the inevitable accompaniments of rev- 
olution. 2 

In Georgia the patriotic party was unable to gain 
acceptance of the Association; but it was ratified 

1 Force, American Archives , 4th series, I., 993, 1023, 1109, 1124, 
1 1 58; Dunmore's letter, in Hart, Contemporaries, II., 439. 

2 Fisher, True Am. Revolution, 155 et seq. 





by forty-five of the deputies to the provincial con- 
gress which met at Savannah on March 18, 1775. 
A motion of approval was defeated in the New York 
assembly, but that body did not abandon the 
American cause. The papers adopted by it, and 
forwarded to Edmund Burke, its agent in England, 
were conceived in much the same spirit as were those 
of congress. The remonstrance to the commons 
"was found to be so emphatic in its claims of rights 
that the ministers opposed and prevented its re- 
ception." 1 Furthermore, in both Georgia and New 
York local committees of inspection were created. 

The appeal to arms seemed unavoidable; yet 
even at this late hour the American leaders were 
resolved to use force, if force must be employed, 
not to set up independence, but to gain a redress 
of grievances. 2 In October, 1774, Washington 
wrote that independence is not "desired by any 
thinking man in all North America." Yet in the 
Virginia convention two months before he had said, 
"I will raise one thousand men, subsist them at 
my own expense, and march myself at their head 
for the relief of Boston." December 22 he is re- 
ported as already in command in the Northern Neck 
of "one thousand volunteers, as fine fellows and 
good woodsmen as any on our continent"; 3 and 

4 Hildreth, United States, III., 56, 65. 

2 Opposite view in Fisher, True Am. Revolution, 169 et seq. 

3 Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), II., 440, 444; Adams, 
Works, II., 360; Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, 4th series, IV., 
187; Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 1145. 


January 17, 1775, in his county of Fairfax, he pre- 
sided at a meeting which enrolled the militia and 
voted a tax for the purchase of arms and to pay for 
the service of the men. 

Twelve days later Samuel Adams declared that 
"one regular attempt" of the ministers to subdue a 
colony would "open a quarrel which will never be 
closed, till what some of them affect to apprehend, 
and we sincerely deprecate, will take effect. "* In 
still more emphatic words — five weeks before 
Lexington — John Adams pronounced the assertion 
that the people of Massachusetts were eager for 
independence "as great a slander on the province 
as ever was committed to writing." % 

Throughout the continent preparations were 
making for armed resistance to the coercive acts. 
Congress had given warning that the "schemes 
agitated against these colonies have been so con- 
ducted, as to render it prudent that you should 
extend your views to mournful events, and be, in 
all respects, prepared for every contingency." 3 The 
people responded by organizing military companies 
and supplying themselves with arms and ammunition. 
In Massachusetts in particular affairs were moving 
swiftly to a crisis. The people were resolved that 
government under the regulating act should not 
be set up. Many of the "mandamus" councillors 

1 Wells, Samuel Adams, II., 274. 

2 "Novanglus," in Boston Gazette, March 13, 1775. 

3 Journals of Congress, I., 38. 




provided for by that act were forced to decline or to 
resign their commissions; courts were prevented 
from sitting; in Boston jurors refused to be sworn; 
and Chief -Justice Oliver was compelled to give up 
his office as president of the council. 1 

Meanwhile the popular anger was stirred by the 
conduct of Gage. In June he issued a proclamation 
which Washington condemned as "more becoming a 
Turkish bashaw, than an English governor." 2 It 
called the non-importation agreement an "unwar- 
rantable, hostile, and traitorous combination"; its 
subscribers "declared and open enemies of the 
King, Parliament, and the Kingdom"; and enjoined 
" all Magistrates and other officers within the several 
counties in this Province, . . . to apprehend and 
secure for trial all and every person" who may 
publish or sign or invite others to sign the aforesaid 
"Covenant." 3 This futile menace only increased 
the number of those who hastened to subscribe the 
agreement. Alarmed at the hostile attitude of 
the province, Gage removed the seat of government 
from Salem back to Boston, and on September 1 
took a step which came near precipitating a bloody 
conflict. By his order a body of troops seized the 
stock of powder belonging to the province, stored 
on Quarry Hill "in Charlestown bounds" near Med- 
ford, and carried it to the castle. 4 At the same 

1 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 764. 

2 Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), II., 424. 

3 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 491,492. 
4 Essex Gazette, September 6, 1774. 


time two field pieces were brought off from Cam- 

The news of the seizure caused great excitement. 
The next morning thousands of freeholders, leaving 
their guns in the rear, advanced to Cambridge, 
where they compelled several of the new councillors 
to resign. 1 The militia of Worcester County and the 
volunteers of Hampshire County started for Boston. 
Incensed by the additional rumor that the war- 
ships had fired on the town, killing several persons, 
Israel Putnam summoned the militia of Connecti- 
cut to take up arms, and thousands responded to 
his call. But all these companies were stopped by 
express riders from Boston, reporting that at present 
no action was to be taken. 2 Against the remon- 
strance of the selectmen the governor gave further 
offence by fortifying the Neck, the only entrance 
to Boston on the land side. This called forth a 
protest from the Suffolk County convention at 
Milton. 3 

The first Massachusetts assembly since the regu- 
lating act took effect had been summoned to meet 
at Salem, October 5, 1774; but fearing that the 
mandamus councillors would not be suffered to take 
their seats, Gage issued a proclamation counter- 
manding the call. 4 Disregarding the proclamation, 
held to be irregular, many of the representatives 

Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), IV., 55. 

2 Ibid., 56, 57. 

3 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 777. 4 Ibid, 809. 




met at Salem at the appointed time. After wait- 
ing two days, the governor not appearing, they re- 
solved themselves into a provincial congress, and 
a few days later adjourned to Concord, where John 
Hancock was chosen president and Benjamin Lin- 
coln secretary. 

This provincial congress, which soon removed to 
Cambridge, proceeded to form a military organiza- 
tion. A committee of safety was appointed with 
power to call out the militia. Other committees 
were raised to put the province in a state of defence 
and to procure military stores. Three generals were 
chosen; the towns were directed to provide them- 
selves with arms and ammunition ; and the militia 
were ordered to choose company and regimental 
officers and to perfect themselves in discipline ; while 
one-fourth of their number — the "minute -men" — 
were to be ready to march at a moment's no- 
tice. 1 

The acts of the first provincial congress, like those 
of its successor, had all the force of law in the 
province. It was formed according to the provisions 
of the charter governing the choice of the house of 
representatives, but it sat without a council. In 
vain Gage denounced its proceedings as illegal. In- 
deed, his functions as civil governor were now 
practically at an end : the royal courts were suspend- 

1 Journals of the Mass. Provincial Congress, 7, 23, 32-35; 
Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 829 et seq. See 
especially Hunt, The Provincial Committees of Safety, 10 et seq. 

VOL. via. — 21 


ed, the council was destroyed, and the lesser execu- 
tive bodies took their direction from the provincial 
congress. Therefore Gage was obliged more and 
more to fall back on his authority as commander of 
the army. Thus the revolution was practically 
inaugurated in Massachusetts. 1 « 

A last opportunity was now given the British 
government to choose between the ways which led 
either to peace or civil war. The ministers did not 
hesitate a minute to undertake the forcible subjuga- 
tion of the colonies, and in the newly elected Parlia- 
ment they found themselves sustained by an over- 
whelming majority. The long struggle of Wilkes for 
constitutional right was, indeed, crowned with suc- 
cess, and he was allowed to take his seat in the com- 
mons unopposed. But popular sentiment, so far 
as an imperfect representation and a feeble press 
could give it expression, seemed strongly in favor 
of coercion. Gage had suggested that it might be 
well "to cut the colonies adrift, and leave them to 
anarchy and repentance." The idea was hateful to 
the king. "The New England governments are 
now in a state of rebellion,' * he said to North; 
"blows must decide whether they are to be subject 
to this country or independent." 2 

The petition of congress, with the other papers 
relating to America, was laid before Parliament, 
January 19, 1775. The next day Chatham moved 

1 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 829 et seq. 
1 Donne, Correspondence of George III., I., 214. 


an address to the king for "immediate orders" to 
remove the forces from the town of Boston as soon 
as practicable. At once the way must be opened 
for conciliation; "an hour now lost may produce 
years of calamity," Though his motion was sup- 
ported by Shelburrte and Camden, it was rejected 
by a vote of nearly three to one. "Nothing," said 
the king, "can be more calculated to bring the 
Americans to a due submission." 1 

Chatham's efforts to save the empire did not end 
here. February i he brought forward a scheme for 
reconciliation which was liberal in spirit though re- 
quiring mutual concessions: all the obnoxious acts 
were to be repealed ; no tax for revenue was ever to 
be demanded "from British freemen in America" 
without "common consent" given in the provincial 
assemblies. In return, all British subjects in the 
colonies were required to acknowledge the " supreme 
legislative authority and superintending power" of 
Parliament. To make this acknowledgment the 
delegates of the Continental Congress were to as- 
semble, and they were required to grant to the king 
"a certain perpetual revenue," to be placed at the 
disposal of Parliament. "Chatham exerted him- 
self on this occasion with renewed and remarkable 
vigor; but, in spite of all his efforts, after a warm 
and very pointed debate, his bill was refused the 
courtesy of lying on the table, and contrary to the 

1 Donne, Correspondence of George III., I., 225; Cobbett- 
Hansard, Pari. Hist,, XVIII., 74 et seq., 149 et seq., 160. 


usual course, was rejected by a vote of two to one 
at the first reading." 1 

Some days later Lord North himself astonished 
his friends by submitting a plan for conciliation. 
He proposed that when any colony, through its 
legislature, shall make provision for contributing its 
"proportion to the common defence," and "shall 
engage to make provision also for the support of 
the Civil Government, and the Administration of 
Justice, in such Province," it "will be proper, if 
such proposal shall be approved" by the king and 
Parliament, to " forbear" laying any tax upon it 
except for the regulation of commerce. The meas- 
ure was a mere palliative, sure to be rejected in 
America, and not satisfactory to the ministerial 
party. Nevertheless, out of deference to the prime- 
minister, on February 27 it was adopted by a large 
majority. 2 

In his heart Lord North distrusted the very pol- 
icy which he represented. Already, on February 9, 
at his instance, both houses had presented an ad- 
dress to the king, declaring that rebellion existed in 
Massachusetts and pledging their aid in subduing it. 
The next day he asked leave to introduce the bill for 
the "New England restraining Act," saying that 
"as the Americans had refused to trade with this 

1 Cobbett - Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVIII. , 198-203 et seq.; 
Hildreth, United States, III., 61. 

2 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 1597-1622 (the de- 
bates) . 



Kingdom, it was but just that we should not suffer 
them to trade with any other nation." 1 

While this measure was pending, Edmund Burke 
delivered his great speech on conciliation. Instead 
of seeking a revenue he advised Parliament to admit 
the "people of our colonies into an interest in the 
constitution.' ' "From six capital sources: descent, 
form of government, religion in the northern prov- 
inces, manners in the southern, education, the re- 
moteness of situation from the first mover of govern- 
ment — from all these causes a fierce spirit of 
liberty has grown up. It looks to me narrow and 
pedantic to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal 
justice to this great public contest. I do not know 
the method of drawing up an indictment against a 
whole people." 2 

Burke's warning went unheeded. March 13, 
1775, disregarding the protests of British merchants, 
the restraining act 3 received the royal assent. By 
this statute the trade of New England was con- 
fined to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British 
West Indies; and its people were cut off from the 
northern fisheries, one of their chief means of sup- 
port. In April, after news of the approval of the 
acts of congress was received from America, a like 
restraint was put upon the commerce of all the 

1 Cobbett-Hansard, Pari. Hist., XVIII., 221-299. 

2 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 1745 et seq. 

8 15 George III., chap. x. Debates, in Cobbett-Hansard, 
Pari. Hist., XVIII., 299 et seq.; Force, American Archives, 4th 
series, I., 1621-1716. 


other colonies except New York and Georgia, which 
had refused to accept the Association, and North 
Carolina, which the ministers had been led to believe 
would be won over. All petitions for conciliation 
were slighted. William Howe, with Clinton and 
Burgoyne, was sent out to reinforce Gage, and with 
him also went Lord Howe as commander of the 
naval force. But before the two brothers — "bear- 
ing the sword and the olive-branch" — could reach 
America, the first blood of the Revolution had been 
shed on Lexington green. 

The second provincial congress of Massachusetts 
met at Cambridge, February 1, 17 7 5 - 1 Under its 
authority the committee of safety — whose leading 
spirits were now John Hancock and Joseph Warren 
— made vigorous effort to put the province in a 
state of defence. Arms were distributed, provisions 
purchased, and military stores laid up. Express 
riders were appointed to call out the militia in case 
the troops should take the field. This activity was 
stimulated by the news from Parliament. Congress 
then determined to raise an army, and appointed a 
day of fasting and prayer. Although Gage hesi- 
tated to act on the rash suggestions of Dartmouth, 
that the colonists should be disarmed, he sent out 
expeditions to seize the military stores. A com- 
pany of troops, ordered to Salem to bring off some 
brass cannon said to be deposited there (February 
26), narrowly escaped a combat with the people, 

1 Force, American Archives, 4th series, I., 1323 et seq. 




mainly through the good sense of the officer in 

Gage now determined to send a secret expedi- 
tion to destroy the magazines at Concord, a village 
eighteen miles northwest of Boston. To accom- 
plish this task, on the night of April 18 Lieutenant- 
Colonel Smith set out with eight hundred men. The 
secret was not well kept, and William Dawes and 
Paul Revere were despatched to give the alarm. 1 
About daylight the troops reached Lexington, a small 
town twelve miles from Boston. On the common 
near the church sixty or seventy of the " minute- 
men" under Captain Parker were drawn up. Ac- 
cording to evidence which American historians have 
usually accepted as conclusive, Major Pit cairn com- 
manded the provincials to lay down their arms and 
disperse. When the order was not promptly obeyed, 
the regulars began firing, and soon eight of the 
Americans lay dead or dying upon the green, while 
ten others were wounded. 2 After the battle the 
provincial congress of Massachusetts ordered de- 
positions to be taken and a narrative prepared, with 
a view to fixing the responsibility for the commence- 
ment of hostilities. Of the sixty-two eye-witnesses, 
many of them members of Captain Parker's com- 
pany, who testified regarding the fight at Lexington, 
all but one swore that the British began firing at the 
command of an officer before the minute-men had 

1 Hunt, The Provincial Committees of Safety, 13; Fro thin gham, 
Siege of Boston, 57. 2 Ibid., 56-64. 


made any resistance. Nevertheless, such ex parte 
evidence, from the very nature of the circumstances, 
is not decisive. Incidentally, its weakness is in part 
disclosed by a British soldier who deposed that he 
took part in the action, "but which party fired first, 
I cannot exactly say, as our troops rushed on shout- 
ing, and huzzaing, previous to the firing, which was 
continued . . ., so long as any of the provincials were 
to be seen." 1 Moreover, Major Pitcairn — an honor- 
able man, not at all likely unprovoked to order a 
murderous assault upon peaceful citizens — " insisted 
upon it to the day of his death, that the colonists 
fired first ; and that he commanded not to fire, and 
endeavoured to stay and stop the firing after it 
began." 2 At any rate, the real responsibility for 
this fatal affray mounts higher than Captain Parker 
or Major Pitcairn, and rests squarely on the shoulders 
of the statesmen whose fatuous policy had created 
these dangerous conditions. 

From Lexington the British marched on to 
Concord, where a guard placed by them at the Old 
North Bridge fired on a body of provincials who 
approached. The fire was returned, and several men 
were killed and wounded on each side. 

Meanwhile the country was aroused; and when 
about noon — after destroying such stores as he could 
find — Colonel Smith began the return march, he 

1 Journals of Congress, L, 65. 

2 Diary of Ezra Stiles, in Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 62. 
For the depositions, see Journals of Congress, I., 58-66, 




found his troops menaced in flank and rear by the 
provincials, who had gathered from many towns. 
From the shelter of rocks, trees, and fences, during 
a retreat of six miles to Lexington, an irregular but 
deadly fire was poured in. The regulars showed no 
lack of courage, but they were without necessary 
supplies and fought at a terrible disadvantage. At 
Lexington they were nearly exhausted, and probably 
must soon have surrendered had they not here been 
received in a hollow square by a strong force under 
Lord Percy, whom Gage had sent to their relief. 

After a short rest, Percy, who now had about 
eighteen hundred men in his command, began the 
retreat. At once the Americans renewed the attack, 
and the fight did not cease until at nightfall the 
harassed troops found shelter in Charlestown under 
the guns of the king's ships. On this day the Amer- 
icans lost about ninety men and the British three 
times as many. 1 

Debate was thus suspended by the appeal to arms. 
In its address to the " Inhabitants of Great Britain" 
the provincial congress did, indeed, allege that the 
"marks of ministerial vengeance have not yet de- 
tached us from our royal sovereign" ; but in fact, on 
April 19, 1775, the war for independence had actually 
begun. The British force in Boston at once found 
itself besieged by twenty thousand minute-men, who 
were presently replaced by a New England army 
of volunteers. The moral effect of the action was 

1 Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 72-79. 


very great: from New Hampshire to Georgia the 
colonies stood united. This unanimity was not 
wholly spontaneous; but it was due largely to the 
suddenly created revolutionary governments. In 
part through greater energy and superior organiza- 
tion, the patriots were everywhere able to triumph 
over the loyalist opposition. Lord North's plan of 
conciliation was not accepted in any colony. The 
assemblies refused to desert the common cause by 
acting separately, and referred the matter to the 
decision of the Continental Congress. 

The military spirit was fast rising. May 10 a 
daring expedition under Ethan Allen, without au- 
thorization even from a revolutionary congress, 
seized the strong fortress of Ticonderoga, securing 
a large number of cannon and a vast quantity of 
military stores. Crown Point was likewise taken 
without opposition. The enthusiasm aroused by these 
events was not lessened by the news from Boston. 
The arrival of reinforcements under Howe, Clinton, 
and Burgoyne greatly augmented the army of Gage, 
and he resolved to take the offensive. On the night 
of June 16, to strengthen their besieging lines, the 
Americans seized and fortified the heights of Charles- 
town, known as Bunker Hill. The next day — after 
three desperate charges, and after the powder of the 
provincials had given out — the hill was taken by 
the British, but at a loss of over a thousand men — 
nearly one-third of the attacking force. For the 
Americans, who lost about four hundred and fifty, 

1775] APPEAL TO ARMS 311 

the defeat had all the moral effects of a victory, for it 
deepened their conviction that they would be able 
to withstand the king's regulars. 1 

May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress 
had assembled in the state-house at Philadelphia; 
and soon it assumed the functions of a national 
government, which it continued to exercise for the 
next six years. 2 At first it acted rather as an ad- 
viser of the colonies than as a body vested with 
sovereign power. Thus counsel was given to New 
York regarding the proper treatment of the king's 
troops when they should arrive. May 26 it was 
unanimously resolved that the militia of that prov- 
ince should be armed and trained, "to prevent any 
attempt that may be made to gain possession of 
the city." The Massachusetts provincial congress, 
on its application, was advised to vest the govern- 
ment in an assembly and council, according to the 
forms of the ancient constitution, " until a governor, 
of his majesty's appointment, will consent to govern 
the colony according to its charter." 

Congress soon found it necessary to undertake a 
sovereign function of the highest importance — the 
creation of a national army. On June 14 it was 
decided that continental troops should be raised. 
The next day — following a suggestion of John Adams 
— George Washington, of Virginia, was unanimously 

1 Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 11 3-1 74. 

2 A different view on this subject in Van Tyne, American 
Revolution (Am. Nation, IX.), chaps, ix, xi. 


selected to "command all the continental forces, 
raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American 
liberty." 1 July 2 the man whose life and character 
during the next twenty-four years were to have a 
mighty influence for good in shaping the American 
nation arrived in Cambridge to discharge the first 
duty which that nation had laid upon him. 

1 Journals of Congress, I., 69-71, 73, 80, 83. 


(1763-17 7 5) 

SOCIAL progress is made in two ways — by evolu- 
tion and by revolution; through right reason 
and through catastrophe. 1 In the life of a people a 
crisis may come when violence seems to be the only 
means of advancement; but advancement by vio- 
lence is terribly expensive in property, in morals, 
and in human lives. In this regard the American 
Revolution was no exception to the rule. Unlike 
the French Revolution, it was mainly political and 
not social: there were no frightful abuses of ancient 
class privilege to redress, for the old colonial system 
was in no way the result of conscious oppression. 
Its cardinal principles took their rise in economic 
ignorance, and very soon would have become a 
dangerous hindrance to social evolution had they 
been rigidly enforced. 

Just here is the anomaly of the situation. The 
American Revolution differs from all other revolu- 

1 See the instructive paper of Andrew D. White, Evolution and 
Revolution. A body of selected arguments on both sides, in 
Hart, Contemporaries, II., chaps, xxiii-xxvii. 



tions in the mode of its origin and in the swiftness of 
the catastrophe. With astonishing perversity the 
British ministry strove thoroughly to enforce the 
colonial system only after it was already becom- 
ing clear to thoughtful men that its principles were 
false. This resolve bore the likeness of a revolu- 
tion in policy by which prescriptive rights long en- 
joyed were violently taken away. Meanwhile the 
colonists in political education had outstripped the 
Englishmen who remained at home. A fierce spirit 
of liberty had sprung up. With superior knowledge 
they had become exceedingly sensitive regarding 
their political rights. Moreover, the new restrictive 
policy was adopted just as the conditions had be- 
come favorable for the development of the nascent 
sentiment of union among the colonists. 1 Hence it 
is that in the short space of ten years the min- 
isterial blunders, aggravated by the violent counsels 
of extremists in America, had brought the provinces 
to the verge of revolution. 

While resistance was confined to debate and other 
legal forms of opposition, many conservatives could 
unite with the radicals in seeking a redress of griev- 
ances, though denying the validity of the revolu- 
tionary argument. Men like Seabury and Galloway 
freely condemned the policy of Great Britain. But 
when it was proposed to drop argument and seek 
redress by the sword, perhaps by separation, these 
and thousands of other worthy persons drew back. 

1 See chaps, i. and iii. above. 




When hostilities began, the people were very far 
from being united, although the fact was in part 
concealed; for in most places the revolutionary 
party speedily got possession of the actual govern- 
ment and was able to silence opposition. 

The American Revolution, like every revolution, 
brought earnest men face to face with tremendous 
cases of conscience which had to be solved. For 
revolution means violation of law, breach of alle- 
giance, disturbance of the established social order. 
It means a rending of family and national ties, a 
wounding of sentiments which ages of historical 
association have fostered. It means a vast ex- 
penditure of blood and treasure and incalculable 
moral and physical suffering. Is the end in view 
worth the cost ? This question the American people 
had to face, and the loyalists answered it emphati- 
cally in the negative. Is it not clear from the nature 
of the problem that they might do so and yet 
challenge our respect, even our admiration? They 
may have been mistaken; they may have been 
opposing the march of progress; but they were not 
necessarily actuated by motives less conscientious 
than those which inspired their adversaries. Trium- 
phant revolution is apt to cover with obloquy the 
fame of many a moral hero whom history should 
respect and seek to understand. Happily the pe- 
riod of self-glorification is passing and the Amer- 
ican student is learning to be just in his judgment on 
the case of the American loyalists. 


For ten years the opposing parties of patriots and 
loyalists — of Whigs and Tories — had been gradual- 
ly forming. From the very nature of the case, the 
active or aggressive party, under so astute a leader 
as Samuel Adams, was first to gain an effective or- 
ganization, which was brought to completion by 
the creation of a continental congress. Of necessity 
this event at once drew more closely together all 
those who for whatsoever reasons refused to take 
the way of armed rebellion. "In a valid sense, 
therefore, it may be said that the formation of the 
great Loyalist party of the American Revolution 
dates from about the time of the Congress of 1774. 
Moreover, its period of greatest activity in argu- 
mentative literature is from that time until the 
early summer of 1776, when nearly all further use 
for argumentative literature on that particular sub- 
ject was brought to an end by the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. ' ' 1 In number, character, and the principles 
for which it stood, the loyalist party is a fact of de- 
cided interest, deserving the serious and respectful at- 
tention of every student of the American Revolution. 

There is no means of finding out the actual number 
of Tories in any colony. At all times during the 
struggle a great body of the loyalists was found in 
New York 3 and Pennsylvania. Timothy Pickering 

'Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 295, 296. Cf. Van Tyne, 

Loyalists, 3, 4. 

3 Flick, Loyalism in New York (Columbia College Studies, 
XIV.), 31-37 et seq. 

1781] LOYALIST CASE 317 

called the last named province the "enemies' coun- 
try"; while John Adams declared that "New York 
and Pennsylvania were so nearly divided — if their 
propensity was not against us — that if New Eng- 
land on one side and Virginia on the other had 
not kept them in awe, they would have joined the 
British. " There were many Tories in Connecticut, 
New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. In Virginia 
they were less numerous than the Whigs; in South 
Carolina they were more numerous; "while in 
Georgia their majority was so great that, in 1781, 
they were preparing to detach that colony from the 
general movement of the rebellion, and probably 
would have done so, had it not been for the em- 
barrassing accident which happened to Cornwallis 
at Yorktown in the latter part of that year." 1 

The loyalists themselves claimed that in the 
aggregate they constituted a positive majority of 
the American people, and that none of the decisive 
measures of the Revolution were sanctioned by a 
full or fair vote of any colony. In their belief, 
says Tyler, these measures " were the work of a well- 
constructed and powerful political machine, set up 
in each colony, in each county, in each town, and 
operated with as much skill and will and unscrupu- 
lousness as go into the operation of such machines 
in our own time." The same historian — the first 

1 Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 298, 299; Adams, Works, 
X., 63. Cf. Gilbert, "Connecticut Loyalists," in Am. Hist. 
Review, IV., 278 et seq. 

VOL. VIII. — 22 


American writer to make a just and adequate 
statement of the case for the loyalists — accepts as 
probably a fair estimate John Adams's opinion, ap- 
proved by Thomas McKean, that about one-third 
of the people were at first opposed to the Revolution. 1 
The large body of loyalists represented nearly 
every type of character and motive, from the lowest 
to the highest. Among them were virtually the 
entire official class, embracing not only the mere 
placemen, often incompetent and corrupt, who had 
come to America to gain their fortunes, but also 
native Americans like Oliver and Hutchinson, who 
loved their country and had won respect and 
honor in its service. The crown officers "good 
and bad were the backbone of the Tory party in 
America." 2 Next to these were the clergy and 
members of the established church, the majority of 
whom were stanch loyalists. A third division 
comprised the mass of those who from tradition, 
circumstances, or training are usually inclined to be 
conservative. Here were found very many of the 
capitalistic, professional, and cultivated classes, with 
all those who revered monarchy and distrusted 
democratic institutions. 3 College presidents like 

1 Tyler, "The Party of the Loyalists," in Am. Hist. Review, 
I., 24, 25; Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., 293-383, esp. 300; Adams, 
Works, X., 63, 87, 110. 

2 Van Tyne, Loyalists, 4; American Revolution {Am. Nation, 
IX.), chap. iv. 

3 On the classes of loyalists, see Flick, Loyalism in New York 
{Columbia College Studies, XIV.), 31 et seq. 



Cooper, of King's, and a great number of the grad- 
uates of Yale, Harvard, William and Mary, and 
other colonial institutions, remained loyal to Great 
Britain. Among the three hundred and ten Tories 
banished by Massachusetts in 1778 were sixty 
graduates of Harvard. "To anyone at all familiar 
with the history of colonial New England, that list 
of men, denounced to exile and loss of property on 
account of their opinions, will read almost like the 
bead-roll of the oldest and noblest families con- 
cerned in the founding and upbuilding of New 
England civilization." 1 

Doubtless many of the Tories, like many of the 
Whigs, were actuated by base motives. To their 
ranks at first would naturally come those who hoped 
to be on the safe side, and those who fancied that in 
the inevitable triumph of the king's troops they 
should be rewarded for their loyalty by a share in the 
confiscated estates of the vanquished. Yet among 
the two hundred thousand men and women who 
eventually went into exile or who died in the strug- 
gle were very many who in a just sense were true 
patriots and who as devotedly as their adversaries 
suffered for conscience' sake. 2 

The problem of the American Revolution was by 
no means a simple one. Whether viewed as a ques- 

1 Ellis, in Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., VII., 195; Tyler, Lit. 
Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 303. 

2 For the loyalists during the Revolution, see Van Tyne, 
American Revolution {Am. Nation, IX.), chap. xiv. 


tion of right or of expediency it had two opposite 
sides, either of which might well be taken by honest 
and thoughtful men. The constitutional maxim 
"no taxation without representation" was accepted 
as valid by both parties, but the loyalists denied 
that it had been violated. As an expression of 
mere law, the argument from virtual representation 
is invincible, 1 for the kind of representation which 
then satisfied the law and the constitution was very 
crude. Indeed, since the American Revolution, 
and even since the reform bill of 1832, in both the 
United States and England it is but slowly that the 
idea of a broader and more effective representation 
has prevailed ; and we are beginning to realize that 
even now our system is very far from perfect. 

Again, the loyalists frankly admitted that the 
colonists had real grievances which ought to be re- 
dressed. They were earnestly in favor of reform, 
and severely censured the policy of the ministers. 
Thus far there was substantial agreement among the 
best Americans. Regarding the proper remedy, 
however, there was not the same unanimity. The 
loyalists denied the expediency of refusing to pay 
taxes levied by Parliament, while they abhorred the 
thought of separation. In their view, oppressive 
taxes had not yet been laid; and there was no like- 
lihood that such taxes ever would be imposed. It 
was, therefore, unwise to risk civil war by resisting 
precedents which might never be abused. Even in 

1 Cf . Burgess, Political Science, II., 65-69. 




the crisis of 1774 they still had faith in argument, 
and, as already seen, they presented a definite 
plan for conciliation. Its author, Joseph Galloway, 
next to Hutchinson was the most conspicuous 
loyalist in America. He had long served his colony, 
Pennsylvania, as a member of the assembly, and 
with Franklin he had opposed the proprietary 
government and done what he could to have the 
province transferred from the Penn family to the 
crown. 1 

In 1775 Galloway published a pamphlet in de- 
fence of the "Plan" which the Continental Congress 
had rejected. It was many times reprinted both in 
America and Europe, and it is a powerful presenta- 
tion of the best loyalist argument. In the outset 
he condemns the reign of terror which under the 
authority of congress the Whigs had set up: "free- 
dom of speech suppressed, the liberty and secrecy 
of the press destroyed, the voice of truth silenced, a 
lawless power established throughout the colonies" 
depriving "men of their natural rights and inflict- 
ing penalties more severe than death." Next he 
insists that in its true nature the present contro- 
versy is "a dispute between the supreme author- 
ity of the state and a number of its members." 
Now in every state there must be "a supreme legis- 
lative authority, universal in extent" ; in the British 
empire this supreme power belongs to Parliament. 
The colonies are a part of that empire; and hence 

1 On Galloway, see Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I., 369-383. 


even in cases of taxation and internal police — con- 
trary to the claim of congress — they cannot be 
exempt from its control and subject only to the 
king. 1 

On the other hand, in agreement with his ad- 
versaries, Galloway holds that the colonists are en- 
titled to all the rights of Englishmen at home; for 
"the subjects of a free state, in every part of its 
dominions, ought in good policy to enjoy the same 
fundamental rights and privileges." Yet the col- 
onists through their representatives have not shared 
the right of making laws binding upon them; but 
they ought to share it "in such manner as their 
circumstances admit of, whenever it shall be decent- 
ly and respectfully asked for." "If the British 
state, therefore, means to retain the colonies in a 
due obedience to her government, it will be wisdom 
in her to restore to her American subjects the enjoy- 
ment of assenting to and dissenting from such bills 
as shall be proposed to regulate their conduct. 
Laws thus made will ever be obeyed, because by 
their assent they become their own acts. It will 
place them in the same condition with their brethren 
in Britain, and remove all cause of complaint; 
or if they should conceive any regulations incon- 
venient or unjust, they will petition, not rebel. 
Without this, it is easy to perceive that the union 
and harmony, which is peculiarly essential to a 
free society whose members are resident in regions so 

Galloway, Candid Examination, 1-4, 24, 30-32. 

1775] LOYALIST CASE 323 

very remote from each other, cannot long subsist. 
The genius, temper, and circumstances of the Amer- 
icans should be also duly attended to'. No people 
in the world have higher notions of liberty. It 
would be impossible ever to eradicate them, should 
an attempt so unjust be ever made." The colonists 
must be united with Britain "upon principles of 
English liberty," or they "will infallibly throw off 
their connection with the mother country." 1 

Therefore, Galloway's remedy for the present 
grievances of the colonies is — not the course of vio- 
lence recommended by congress, but a liberal con- 
stitutional union with the parent state. Even now, 
he says, it is not too late to apply this remedy. 
Reasonable petitions have never been refused a 
hearing, as American demagogues have asserted. 
"It is high time that this fatal delusion should be 
exposed, and the good people of America disabused. 
It is true that his majesty and the two houses of 
parliament have treated petitions from the colonies 
with neglect; but what were those petitions? . . . 
They disowned the power of the supreme legislature, 
to which as subjects they owe obedience." "Let 
us, like men who love order and government, boldly 
oppose the illegal edicts of the Congress, before it is 
too late, — pull down the licentious tyranny they have 
established, and dissolve their inferior committees — 
their instruments to trample on the sacred laws of 
your country, and your invaluable rights." When 
1 Galloway, Candid Examination, 34-36, 39, 41-43. 


this is done and peace and order restored, let a 
proper petition be presented through your legal as- 
semblies, and there is "no reason to doubt" that 
it will be graciously received and "finally terminate 
in a full redress of your grievances, and a permanent 
system of union and harmony, upon principles of 
liberty and safety." 1 

It must be frankly admitted that the arguments 
of Galloway, like those of Myles Cooper, Daniel 
Leonard, and Samuel Seabury — also called out by 
the proceedings of congress — were far from con- 
temptible. His plan of conciliation, however just, 
came too late; and even if satisfactory to the 
Americans, it is very doubtful whether at any time 
after the Albany convention of 1754 it would have 
been acceptable to Great Britain. Certainly, in 
1774 the time for conciliation was past unless Eng- 
land, taking the initiative, should make prompt, 
frank, and full concessions. All half-way or in- 
sincere measures, such as those proposed by Lord 
North, must prove utterly futile. 

Making all due allowance for the alleged sinister 
influence of colonial politicians, we are now able 
clearly to see that the American Revolution was 
justifiable for two general reasons. First, the legis- 
lation of Grenville and his successors was a real 
grievance. The sugar act, the stamp act, and the 
Townshend revenue acts, though legal, were con- 
trary to wise political policy and a violation of the 

1 Galloway, Candid Examination, 48-61. 




spirit of constitutional liberty which the experience 
of a century had fostered in the colonies. The 
effect of these acts was aggravated by the ill-judged 
measures adopted to enforce them; and they were 
brought into contempt by the halting policy of the 

Secondly, in the light gained by ten years' dis- 
cussion, the old colonial system itself had become 
a grievance. It was seen to be a check to the full 
development of the American people. Hence, while 
learning to be more just regarding the merits of the 
loyalists, we have gained a more intelligent apprecia- 
tion of the higher qualities of the men who achieved 
independence. Since the problem was so hard, the 
arguments sometimes so nicely balanced, all the 
more honor to those whose clearer vision guided 
them to a righteous solution! Politically, the rev- 
olutionary party comprised the best products of 
American experience: the men whose social con- 
sciousness was most fully aroused. Socially, its 
leaders stood on a lofty ethical plane. They rep- 
resented a political sagacity, a higher race-altruism, 
which was capable of present sacrifice for the good 
of the coming generations. 

For social progress is not guided by the devout 
conservatism of loyalists like Jonathan Boucher, 
who as a final remedy recommended passive obe- 
dience to a divinely appointed king and a divinely 
ordained church. "It is your duty," he exclaimed, 
' 1 to instruct your members to take all the con- 


stitutional means in their power to obtain redress. 
If these means fail of success, you cannot but be 
sorry and grieved; but you will better bear your 
disappointments by being able to reflect that it was 
not owing to any misconduct of your own. . . . Those 
persons are as little acquainted with general history, 
as they are with the particular doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, who represent such submission as abject 
and servile. I afhrm, with great authority, that 
there can be no better way of asserting the people's 
lawful rights, than the disowning unlawful com- 
mands, by thus patiently suffering.' ' 1 Not to such 
men, however brave and conscientious, but to men 
equally conscientious and more clear-sighted and 
daring — to Adams, Franklin, and Washington — is 
the upbuilding of nations committed. 

1 Boucher, View of the Causes of the Revolution, 559. 




HE most complete bibliography of the subject of this 

volume is found in Justin Winsor, Narrative and 

Critical History of America (8 vols., 1888- 1889), VI., 
68-112, 172-204, which may be used to advantage with 
his Reader's Handbook of the American Revolution, iy6i- 
1783 (1880). Of first-rate bibliographical value for the 
contemporary writings is Moses Coit Tyler, Literary History 
of the American Revolution (2 vols., 1897). For critical 
details may be consulted Joseph Sabin, Dictionary of 
Books Relating to America (20 vols., incomplete, 1868-1892). 
Similar aid may be gained from Isaiah Thomas, History 
of Printing in America (1874). Very helpful are J. N. 
Lamed, The Literature of American History, a Biblio- 
graphical Guide (1902); and Edward Channing and Albert 
Bushnell Hart, Guide to the Shidy of American History 
(1896). Much of the earlier material in C. H. Van Tyne, 
American Revolution (American Nation, IX.), is applicable 
to the subject of this volume. 

George Bancroft, History of the United States (10 vols., 
to 1782, 1834-1874; 6 vols., to 1789, 1885), presents the 
most detailed account of the beginnings of the Revolution. 
The book is the result of vast research, but it is marred 
by the author's pro-American bias, his well-known faults 
of style, and his disregard of the ethics of quotation marks 





in the citation of documents. Except in the ten- volume 
edition, its value is further impaired by the failure to cite 
authorities. John Fiske, American Revolution (2 vols., 
1892), has treated the subject in his usual charming 
manner; but he pays little attention to the causes. Rich- 
ard Hildreth, History of the United States (6 vols., 1851- 
1856, revised ed., 1882), is accurate and just; but his style 
is dry and the analysis very faulty. The Scotch writer, 
James Grahame, History of the United States (2d ed., 4 
vols., 1845), is a clear and forceful narrative, written from 
scanty source materials and under influence of extreme 
democratic sentiments. The period is likewise covered by 
John Marshall, History of the Colonies (1824) ; and Timothy 
Pitkin, Political and Civil History of the United States (2 
vols., 1828), an accurate and judicial work containing 
valuable documents in the appendices. 

A very able work from the patriotic point of view, drawn 
largely from the sources, is Richard Frothingham, Rise 
of the Republic of the United States (5th ed., 1890). James 
Albert Woodburn has written an excellent analysis of the 
Causes of the American Revolution (Johns Hopkins University 
Studies, X., No. 12); G. W. Greene, Historical View of the 
American Revolution (4th ed., 1876), has a chapter on the 
causes; and so has H. C. Lodge, Short History of the 
English Colonies of America (revised ed., 1902), who also 
gives a good account of social conditions in* 1765. The 
causes are also treated by H. C. Lodge, Story of the Revolu- 
tion (2 vols., 1898); Mellen Chamberlain, "The Revolution 
Impending " (Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, 
VI.), is a thoroughly critical and enlightening essay; and 
there is a very fair summary by Edward C. Porter, "The 
Beginnings of the Revolution" (Justin Winsor, Memorial 
History of Boston, III.). The origin of the revolutionary 
movement is clearly and vigorously traced by Harry Pratt 
Judson, The Growth of the American Nation (1895). The 
beginnings of the West are discussed in Edwin Erie Sparks, 
The Expansion of the American People (1900); and his 
Men Who Made the Nation (1901) contains lively and 
entertaining chapters on the period. The early Revolu- 




tion is likewise treated by Woodrow Wilson, A History of 
the American People (5 vols., 1902) ; and by Sidney Howard 
Gay (and, nominally, W. C. Bryant), Popular History of 
the United States (4 vols., 1 878-1 881; 5 vols., enlarged by 
Noah Brooks, 1896). 


New England Colonies. — Among the more important 
works on the particular colonies we have Alden Bradford, 
History of Massachusetts (3 vols., 1822-1829), one of the 
best early accounts, the material for the early Revolution 
being drawn largely from the same author's State Papers; 
John Stetson Barry, History of Massachusetts (3 vols., 
1855-1857) ; and Harry A. Cushing, Transition from Province 
to Commonwealth Government in Massachusetts {Columbia 
College Studies, VII., 1896), a thoroughly scientific study 
from the sources. The period is treated in a trustworthy 
manner in the second volume of Jeremy Belknap, History 
of New Hampshire (3 vols., 2d ed., 181 3); Gideon Hiram 
Hollister, History of Connecticut (2 vols., 1857); Alexander 
Johnston, Connecticut (1887); Samuel Greene Arnold, 
History of Rhode Island (4th ed., 2 vols., 1894), a work of 
extraordinary merit; and Frank Greene Bates, Rhode 
Island and the Formation of the Union {Columbia College 
Studies, X., 1898), a painstaking monograph. 

Middle Colonies. — A good account is contained in the 
second volume of Ellis H. Roberts, New York (1887). 
Important also are Carl Becker, "Nominations in Colonial 
New York," in American Historical Review, VI., 260; 
"Growth of Revolutionary Parties and Methods in New 
York Province, 176 5- 1774," in ibid., VII., 56; and Charles 
H. Levermore, "The Whigs in Colonial New York," in 
ibid., I., 238. A very scholarly work is Isaac Sharpless, A 
History of Quaker Government in Pennsylvania (2 vols., 
1 898-1 899). There are careful monographs by Charles 
H. Lincoln, The Revolutionary Movement in Pennsylvania 
{Publications of the University of Pennsylvania, 1901); and 
William Robert Shepherd, History of the Proprietary 


Government in Pennsylvania {Columbia College Studies, 
VI., 1896). On some points, Thomas F. Gordon, History 
of Pennsylvania (1829), may still be used with profit. See 
also the entertaining book of Sydney George Fisher, 
Pennsylvania (1897). 

Southern Colonies. — J. T. Scharf, History of Maryland 
(3 vols., 1879), contains many original documents, some of 
them inaccurately copied. William Hand Browne, Mary- 
land (1884), devotes several interesting chapters to the 
period. There is a helpful study by John Archer Silver, 
The Provisional Government of Maryland {Johns Hopkins 
University Studies, XIII., No. 10); one by B. C. Steiner, 
Western Maryland in the Revolution {ibid., XX., No. 1); 
and an excellent monograph by Newton D. Mereness, 
Maryland as a Proprietary Province (1901). For Virginia 
the best work is Charles Campbell, History of the Colony of 
Virginia (1859). There is much of value in William 
Meade, Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia 
(2 vols., 1857); John Daly Burk, History of Virginia (3 
vols., 1 804-1 805), coming down to 1776; and the second 
volume of Robert R. Howison, History of Virginia (1848), 
deals with the Revolution. For North Carolina, besides 
Francis Xavier Martin, History of North Carolina (2 vols., 
1829), and John W. Moore, History of North Carolina (2 
vols., 1880), we have J. S. Jones, Defence of the Revolu- 
tionary History of North Carolina (1834); Enoch Walter 
Sikes, Transition of North Carolina from Colony to Common- 
wealth Johns Hopkins University Studies , XVI., Nos. 10, 11); 
and Charles Lee Raper, North Carolina: A Study in English 
Colonial Government (1904), a sound discussion based on 
the colonial records. All the early histories of South 
Carolina are superseded by the admirable work of Edward 
McCrady, South Carolina Under the Royal Government, 
171Q-1776 (1899); and W. Roy Smith, South Carolina as a 
Royal Province (1903). Consult also D. D. Wallace, Con- 
stitutional History of South Carolina (1899); J. B. O. 
Landrum, Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper 
South Carolina (1897); and William A. Schaper, Section- 
alism and Representation in South Carolina (American 



Historical Association, Report, 1900, I.). For Georgia 
there are two good works, each derived from the original 
documents. The second volume of Charles Colcock Jones, 
History of Georgia (2 vols., 1883), is devoted mainly to the 
Revolution; and that epoch is well treated in the second 
volume of William Bacon Stevens, History of Georgia (2 
vols., 1847-1859). 

Discussion of the general authorities on the separate 
colonies will also be found in the Critical Essay on Au- 
thorities, in Lyon G. Tyler, England in America, Charles 
M. Andrews, Colonial Self -Government; Evarts B. Greene, 
Provincial America {American Nation, IV., V., VI.). 


An impartial discussion of the Revolution is that of 
William E. H. Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth 
Century (8 vols., 1878-1890), III., chap, xii, passim, al- 
though he lays too much stress on alleged personal in- 
fluences among the colonists. This part of Lecky's work 
has been separately edited by James Albert Woodburn un- 
der the title of The American Revolution, 1 763-1783 (1898). 
Sir George Otto Trevelyan, The American Revolution (3 
vols., 1899-1903), is in full sympathy with the American 
side and brings out more clearly than does any other 
writer the moral and social causes of the movement. In 
a scientific spirit John A. Doyle has written a chapter, The 
Quarrel with Great Britain, 1761-1776 {The Cambridge 
Modern History, VII., 1903). Among the older British 
writers the Tory bias of Lord Mahon (P. E. Stanhope), 
History of England, 1713-1783 (3d ed., 7 vols., 1853- 
1854); and John Adolphus, History of England, 1760- 
1820 (7 vols., 1840-1845); may be balanced by the Whig 
sentiment of W. N. Massey, History of England during the 
Reign of George III. (4 vols., 1855-1863). 


A very convenient collection of original documents of 
every sort, for both America and Great Britain, is Peter 


Force, American Archives (fourth and fifth series, 9 vols., 
1837-1853), but it is carelessly printed and should be used 
with caution. Valuable material is likewise contained in 
Hezekiah Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revolution (re- 
print, 1876); Daniel R. Goodloe, Birth of the Republic 
(1889); Frank Moore, Diary of the American Revolution 
from Newspapers and Original Documents (1863); R. W. 
Gibbes, Documentary History of the American Revolution, 
1764-1776 (1855); John Durand, New Materials for the 
History of the American Revolution (1889), drawn from the 
French archives; William MacDonald, Select Charters and 
Other Documents Illustrative of American History, 1 606-1 77 5 
(1899); Albert Bushnell Hart, American History Told by 
Contemporaries (4 vols., 1897-1901), II., §§ 130-169. 
French observation of America, 1763-17 7 5, is dealt with 
by Henry Doniol, Histoire de la participation de la France 
a V etablisscmcnt des Etats-Unis d'AmSrique (5 vols., 1886- 
1899); and a work of unique value for the discussion of 
many special questions is George Chalmers, Opinions of 
Eminent Lawyers, on Various Points of English Juris- 
prudence, Chiefly Concerning the Colonies, Fisheries, and 
Commerce of Great Britain (2 vols., 1814; American ed., 

• Highly important for Massachusetts are Alden Bradford, 
Speeches of the Governors . . . from 176 5-1 J 7 5, and the An- 
swers of the House of Representatives (181 8), cited as Brad- 
ford, Mass. State Papers; and John Almon, Collection of 
Interesting and Authentic Papers Relating to the Dispute 
between Great Britain and America, 1764-1775 (1777), cited 
as Almon, Prior Documents. These papers are supple- 
mented by Governor Thomas Hutchinson, Diary and Letters 
(2 vols., 1 883-1 886); and by Governor Francis Bernard, 
Select Letters (1774). Similar collections are Gertrude 
Selwin Kimball, Correspondence of tlte Governors of Rhode 
Island, 1723-1775 (2 vols., 1902-1903); for Maryland, W. 
H. Browne, Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe 
(3 vols., 1888-1895) ; and for New York, the Colden Papers, 
in the New York Historical Society, Collections, Fund 
Series (29 vols., 1868-1897), IX., X. 



First among the sources are the various collections of 
laws, legislative records, state papers, and official cor- 
respondence. The most important are: Journals of the 
Honourable House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay 
(1 723-1 778) ; Journal of the General Assembly of New York, 
1691-1765 (2 vols., 1764-1766); ibid., 1766-1776 (1820); 
Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the 
Province of Pennsylvania (6 vols., 1752-17 7 6); New Hamp- 
shire Provincial, Town, and State Papers (12 vols., 1867- 
1883); Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1 636-1 776 (15 
vols., 1850-1890), XI.-XV. ; Records of the Colony of 
Rhode Island (10 vols., 1856-1865), VI., VII.; Documents 
Relating to the Colonial History of New York (13 vols, and 
index, 1856-1883), VII., VIII., X.; Documents Relating to 
the Colony of New Jersey (22 vols, and index, 1 880-1 900), 
VIII.-X., XVII., XVIII. , cited as New Jersey Archives; 
A Selection of Pennsylvania Archives, three series (31 vols., 
1852-1895); Colonial Records of Pennsylvania (16 vols., 
1838-1852) ; W. W. Hening, Statutes at Large of Virginia (13 
vols., 1809- 1823), VII.-IX., passim; Colonial Records of 
North Carolina (10 vols., 1 886-1 890), VI. -X. The Journals 
of the Virginia house of burgesses are of the highest value ; 
but they are extremely scarce, no library in the country 
having a complete set: consult the bibliography by J. 
Franklin Jameson, in American Historical Association, 
Report, 1897, pp. 432-437. See also the Proceedings of the 
Conventions of Maryland, 1774-1776 (1836). 


For Great Britain the Cobbett-Hansard, Parliamentary 
History, XV -XVIII.; Sir H. Cavendish, Debates of the 
House of Commons, . . . 1768-1771 (3 vols., 1841-1843); 
Journal of the House of Commons, XXIX.-XXXVI.; 
Journal of the House of Lords, XXX.-XXXV. ; Protests of 
the Lords (3 vols., edited by J. E. T. Rogers, 1875; or to 
1767, edited by John Almon, 1767); Calendar of Home 

VOL VIII. — 23 


Office Papers, 1760-1JJ5 (3 vols., 1878-1899); Statutes at 
Large (109 vols., 1 762-1866), are of course indispensable. 


Most important among the papers of the chief actors of 
the impending revolution are Benjamin Franklin, Works 
(10 vols., edited by Jared Sparks, 1840; or 10 vols., edited 
by John Bigelow, 188 7-1 888) ; John Adams, Works (10 vols., 
edited by Charles Francis Adams, 1850-1856); George 
Washington, Writings (14 vols., edited by W. C. Ford, 
1889-1893) ; Alexander Hamilton, Works (9 vols., edited by 
Henry Cabot Lodge, 1885-1886); John Dickinson, Writings 
(3 vols., edited by P. L. Ford, 1895); or the edition of his 
Political Writings (1801); Thomas Jefferson, Writings (10 
vols., edited by P. L. Ford, 1892-1899); Stephen Hopkins, 
Rights (1764); and Samuel Adams, Writings, edited by 
Harry Alonzo Cushing (1 vol. pub. 1904). See also the 
Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife (edited by 
Charles Francis Adams, 1876); Francis Hopkinson, Mis- 
cellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings (3 vols., 1792); 
William Eddis, Letters from America, iy6g-ijyy (1792); 
Theodoric Bland, Papers (2 vols., edited by Charles Camp- 
bell, 1 840-1 843); Kate Mason Rowland, Life of George 
Mason, 1725-1JQ2 (2 vols., 1892); William Wirt Henry, 
Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (3 vols., 
1 891); Josiah Quincy, Memoirs of Josiah Quincy, Junior, 
IJ44-1J75 (1825, 1874), containing Quincy's "Journal" 
and much other contemporary matter. 


There is a wealth of similar materials for Great Britain. 
Of most service are Edmund Burke, Works (4th ed., 12 
vols., 1871); Chatham Correspondence (4 vols., edited by 
W. S. Taylor, 1838); William Pitt, Speeches (new ed., 
1848) ; supplemented by John Almon, Anecdotes of William 
Pitt, Earl of Chatham (7th ed., 3 vols., 1810); and by 
Francis Thackeray, Chatham (2 vols., 1827); Grenville 


Papers (4 vols., edited by W. J. Smith, 1853); Memoirs 
of the Marquis of Rockingham (2 vols., edited by G. T. 
Keppel, Earl of Albemarle, 1852); John Russell, Bedford 
Correspondence (3 vols., 1846); and W. B. Donne, Cor- 
respondence of George III. with Lord North, 17 68-1 78 3 (2 
vols., 1867). The Reports of the Royal Commission on His- 
torical Manuscripts contain many documents on the period, 
and their use is facilitated by the index in the American 
Historical Association, Report, 1898, pp. 611 et seq. 

Much light is thrown on English social and political 
conditions by Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Court of 
George II. (2d ed., 3 vols., 1847); Memoirs of the Court of 
George III. (4 vols., 1845; new ed., 3 vols., 1894); Letters 
(9 vols., edited by Peter Cunningham, 1857); Henry B. 
Wheatley, Memoirs of Wraxatt, 177 2-1784 (1784); Letters 
of Junius (2 vols., edited by Woodfall, 1882) ; John Wilkes, 
North Briton (author's revised ed., 1766); James Earl 
Waldegr ave , Memoirs , 1 7 54-1 758 ( 1 8 2 1 ) ; George B ubb 
Doddington, Diary, 1748-176 1 (1784). 


Among the historical accounts produced by persons who 
lived during or near the events which they describe are: 
G. R. Minot, History of Massachusetts, 1748-176 5 (2 
vols., 1 798-1803), giving the patriotic view; Abiel Holmes, 
Annals (2 vols., 1805); Mercy Warren (sister of James 
Otis), History of the . . . American Revolution (3 vols., 1805), 
whose book is supplemented by her letters to John Adams, 
in Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 5th series, 
IV., 3 1 5-5 1 1 ; and the remarkably fair and accurate History 
of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (3 vols., 1 795-1828), 
by Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the foremost loyalist in 
America. Consult also William Moultrie, Memoirs of the 
American Revolution, so Far as It Related to North and Sovith 
Carolina and Georgia (2 vols., 1802), in part based on per- 
sonal observations ; David Ramsay, History of the Revolution 
of South Carolina (2 vols., 1785) ; John Drayton, Memoirs of 
the American Revolution (2 vols., 182 1), relating to the same 


province; and Thomas Jones, History of New York in the 
Revolutionary War (2 vols., edited by E. F. de Lancey, 
1879), a loyalist account written in England after the peace. 
It should be read with H. P. Johnston's critical Observations 
(1880). Of constant service is the Anmial Register (begin- 
ning in 1759), much of the matter relating to American 
affairs probably being written by Edmund Burke, one of 
its founders. From it in part were compiled David Ram- 
say, History of the American Revolution (2 vols., 1791); and 
William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress, and Establish- 
ment of the Independence of the United States (4 vols., 1788). 
These should be read in the light of the criticism by Or- 
rin Grant Libby, "Ramsay as a Plagiarist," in American 
Historical Review, VII., 697; and Critical Examination of 
Gordon's History of the American Revolution (American His- 
torical Association. Report, 1899, I., 365). In the Wis- 
consin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, Transac- 
tions, XIII., 419, this writer has proved that largely from 
the same source, directly or indirectly, were taken five other 
early histories of the period. 


On each side of the sea the Revolution produced a vast 
number of controversial pamphlets, most of which relate 
to particular episodes. Some of them are more general; 
for example, Governor Thomas Pownall, Administration 
of the Colonies (1764); A Memorial to the Sovereigns 
of Europe on the State of Affairs between the Old and the 
New World (1780), being a forecast of the future repub- 
lic; William Griffith, Historical Notes of the Ainerican Colo- 
nies and the Revolution, 1754 - 1775; the anonymous 
Rights of Great Britain Asserted against the Claims of 
America (1776), of which Lord George Germain is be- 
lieved to have been in part author; Richard Price, Ob- 
servations on the Nature of Civil Liberty . . . and the Justice 
and Policy of the War with America (1776), being a plea for 
conciliation; J. Roebuck, Enquiry whether the Guilt of the 
Present Civil War in America Ought to be Imputed to Great 
Britain or America (1776). 



Contemporary sentiment is reflected in Philip Freneau, 
Poems (1786; or F. L. Pattee's ed., 1902); Frank Moore, 
Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution (1856) ; Illus- 
trated Ballad History of the American Revolution, 1765-1783 
(1876); John Trumbull, M'Fingal: A Modern Epic Poem 
(1782; edited by B. J. Lossing, 1864); Poetical Works 
(1820); Winthrop Sargent, Loyalist Poetry of the Revolution 
(1857); G. L. Raymond, Ballads of the Revolution (1887). 


The condition of the colonies before and at the commence- 
ment of the period may be studied in Andrew Burnaby, 
Travels through the Middle Settlements, 175Q-1760 (2d ed., 
1775); Edmund Burke, An Account of European Settle- 
ments in America (1760); and George Chalmers, An In- 
troduction to the History of the Revolt of the American 
Colonies (1845). See also John Almon, A Collection of 
Tracts . . . on the Subject of Taxing the American Colonies 
( 1 7 7 3 ) > & n( I his Charters of the British Colonies (1775). For 
samples of contemporary political sermons, see John Win- 
gate Thornton, Pidpit of the American Revolution (2d ed., 


The fairest treatment of the loyalists in the impending 
revolution is given by Moses Coit Tyler, "The Party of the 
Loyalists in the American Revolution," in American His- 
torical Review, I.; and Literary History of the American 
Revolution, I. For New York there is an excellent mono- 
graph by Alexander Clarence Flick, Loyalism in New York 
during the American Revolution {Columbia College Studies, 
XIV., 1 901). There is also a helpful study by G. A. 
Gilbert, "Connecticut Loyalists," in American Historical 
Review, IV., 273-291. The best general treatise is Claude 
Halstead Van Tyne, Loyalists in the American Revolution 


(1902), or his American Revolution (American Nation, IX.)- 
The older works of Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches 
of Loyalists of the American Revolution (2 vols., 1864); and 
Egerton Ryerson, Loyalists of America and Their Times 
(2d ed., 2 vols., 1880), should be used with caution as the 
investigation is often superficial. For the argument of the 
loyalists consult the literature analyzed by Moses Coit 
Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution, I., 
and the materials in A. B. Harfc, Contemporaries, II., 
Nos. 138, 154, 156-158, 166-169. 


Mellen Chamberlain, John Adams the Statesman of the 
American Revolution (1884), holds that the attempt to set 
up the Anglican episcopate in the colonies was an important 
cause of their separation from the parent state. He relies 
especially upon John Adams, Works, X., 185, and Jonathan 
Boucher, View of the Causes and Consequences of the Amer- 
ican Revolution (1797), 150. The authority on the subject 
is Arthur Lyon Cross, The Anglican Episcopate and the 
American Colonies (Harvard Historical Studies, IX., 1902), 
who cites the entire literature. Important for the dis- 
cussion are W. S. Perry, History of the American Episcopal 
Church (2 vols., 1885); S. E. Baldwin, The Jurisdiction 
of the Bishop of London (American Antiquarian Society, 
Proceedings, new series, XIII., 179-221); C. C. Tiffany, 
History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United 
States (1895), 266-286; Hawks, Efforts to Obtain a Colonial 
Episcopate before the Revolution (Protestant Episcopal 
Historical Society, Collections, I., 136-157); Contributions 
to American Church History (2 vols., 1 836-1 839). 


The Draper MSS. in the library of the Wisconsin His- 
torical Society are indispensable for a thorough history of 
early Kentucky and Tennessee. The best accounts of the 
institutional beginnings are George Henry Alden, New 


Governments West of the Alleghanies before 1780 (Wisconsin 
Historical Society, Bulletins, II.), and Frederick J. Turner, 
"Western State-Making in the Revolutionary Era," in 
American Historical Review, I., 251. Of great value is the 
magnificent work of George W. Ranck, Boonesborough, 
supplemented by J. M. Brown, Political Beginnings of 
Kentucky, and R. T. Durrett, The State of Kentucky (all 
in Filson Club, Publications, VI., VII., XVI., 1890-1901). 
J. G. M. Ramsey, Annals of Tennessee (1853); J. Phelan, 
History of Tennessee (1888); N. S. Shaler, Kentucky (1885); 
Lewis Collins, History of Kentucky (revised ed., 2 vols., 
1874); M. Butler, History of the Commonwealth of Ken- 
tucky (1834); R. G. Thwaites, Daniel Boone (1902); 
Justin Winsor, The Mississippi Basin (1895); The West- 
ward Movement (1897); Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning 
of the West (4 vols., 1 889-1 896), are all of service. The 
proceedings of the Transylvania convention are in Force, 
American Archives, 4th series, IV., as well as in the works 
of Collins and Ranck above mentioned. The original 
documents relating to the Regulators in North Carolina 
are in North Carolina Colonial Records, VII. -IX. The 
best monograph on the subject is that of John S. Bassett, 
Regulators of North Carolina (American Historical Associa- 
tion, Report, 1894, pp. 141-212). 


The significance of the molasses act and the sugar 
act as affecting the West India trade is emphasized by 
George Louis Beer, Commercial Policy of England toward 
the American Colonies {Columbia College Studies, III., No. 
2), 107, 148; by Mellen Chamberlain, in Justin Winsor, 
Narrative and Critical History, VI., 24-26, 63 ; and by W. B. 
Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England (2 
vols., 1894) ,11. ,745-768. Earlier evidence is given by Daniel 
Defoe, A Plan for the English Commerce (1741); Governor 
Francis Bernard, Select Letters (1774), 6, 7, 9— 11 ; Joshua 
Gee, Trade and Navigation (3d ed., 1731), 72; Governor 
Thomas Pownall, Administration of the Colonies (2d ed.. 


1 765), 5, 6; and especially by G. R. Minot, History of 
Massachusetts, II., 140, 146-148, 164-166. The effect of 
the sugar act in Massachusetts is described by Governor 
Thomas Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts Bay, 104, 
and by Richard Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 162. 
At this time appeared James Otis, Rights of the British 
Colonics (1764), and several other important pamphlets 
noticed in the text. The literature of the period is dis- 
cussed by Moses Coit Tyler, Literary History of the American 
Revolution, I., 4) et seq. 

On the restrictive system the best monograph is George 
Louis Beer, The Commercial Policy of England toward the 
American Colonies (Columbia College Studies, III., No. 
2). We have also the excellent study of Eleanor Louisa 
Lord, Industrial Experiments in the British Colonies (Johns 
Hopkins University Studies, extra volume XVII.); Edward 
Channing, The Navigation Laws (American Antiquarian 
Society, Proceedings, 1890); W. J. Ashley, "England and 
America, 1 660-1 760," in his Surveys Historical and Economic 
(1900), criticising the popular view as to the oppressive 
character of the acts of navigation and trade. On the old 
colonial system, see also J. R. Seeley, The Expansion of 
England (1883); Lord Sheffield, Observations on the Com- 
merce of the American States (1783); and the authorities 
cited in chap. iii. of the text. Consult especially Charles 
McLean Andrews, Colonial Self -Government (American 
Nation, V.), chap. i. ; Evarts B. Greene, Provincial America 
(American Nation, VI.). 


Before the conquest of Canada the dread of the French 
power felt by the English colonists is expressed by Jeremiah 
Dummer, Letter to a Noble Lord (1709); and in 1731 by 
Lieutenant - Governor Wentworth, in New Hampshire 
Historical Society, Collections, I., 227-230. The alleged 
advantage to England of leaving Canada in French hands 
is mentioned by Peter Kalm, Travels in America (1770), I., 
262-265. The surrender of the conquered province is op- 
posed by William Pulteney, Letter to Two Great Men (1760) ; 


it was favored by William Burke, Remarks on the Letter 
Addressed to Two Great Men (1760); who is answered by 
Benjamin Franklin, The Interest of Great Britain Con- 
sidered (1760; also in Works, Bigelow's ed., III., 83). See 
also Evarts B. Greene, Provincial America {American Na- 
tion, VI.) » chaps, xi., xii. 


The rise of a sentiment of union before the French war 
is discussed by Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 101-157. 
Penn's plan is in Documents Relating to the Colonial History 
of New York, IV., 296; that of Franklin in his Works 
(Bigelow's ed.), II., 355-375; or in Documents Relating to 
the Colonial History of New York, VI., 889. There are 
other plans in American History Leaflets, No. 14. The 
effect of the strife with the governors and the clamor for 
taxation is shown by Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1885), 
II.; William Black, Maryland's Attitude in the Struggle for 
Canada {Johns Hopkins University Studies, X., No. 7); and 
Hubert Hall, "Chatham's Colonial Policy," in American 
Historical Review, V. 


On the general results of the war see John Adams, Works, 

II. , 23; William E. H. Lecky, England, III., 290; Ban- 
croft, United States (ed. of 1885), II.; Woodburn, Causes 
of the American Revolution {Johns Hopkins University 
Studies, X., No. 12, p. 557). On the population of the 
colonies consult Andrew Burnaby, Travels (2d ed., 1775), 
76, 133, 134; F. B. Dexter, "Estimates of Population," in 
American Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, 1887; Ban- 
croft, United States (ed. of 1885), II., 290; Lodge, Short 
History, 456; Judson, Growth of the American Nation, 55. 
See also R. G. Thwaites, France in America {American 
Nation, VII.), chaps, xvii., xix. 


The fullest discussion of political conditions under George 

III. is contained in T. E. May, Constitutional History of 


England (2 vols., 1880, 1899). For statistics relating to 
parliamentary representation, F. H. B. Oldfield, Repre- 
sentative History (6 vols., 181 6), is indispensable. The 
best general accounts of the reign may be found in William 
E. H. Lecky, England in the Eighteenth Century; John 
Richard Green, History of the English People (4 vols., 1880), 
IV. ; and Sir George Otto Trevelyan, American Revolution, 
I. These may be supplemented by the older works of 
Adolphus, Mahon, and Massey. The principal sources are 
cited in the text, chap. ii. 


John Adams's notes on James Otis's speech in the case 
of Paxton are contained in his Works, II., 521-523. This 
is somewhat extended in G. R. Minot, History of Massa- 
chusetts II., 87-99; m William Tudor, James Otis, 62 et 
seq. ; in the copy by Israel Keith, in Quincy's Reports, 
479-482; and supplemented by Adams's untrustworthy 
recollections in his letters to William Tudor, in his Works, 
X. Horace Gray, Writs of Assistance, in Quincy, Reports, 
is a masterly investigation of the subject from the sources. 
There is a good account of the speech in Moses Coit Tyler, 
Literary History of the American Revolution, I., 30 et seq.; 
and notices may be found in many of the histories of the 
period. The assertion of William E. H. Lecky, England, 
III., 328, that in England "cases of revenue fraud" might 
be tried in the admiralty court without a jury is not sus- 
tained by the evidence: see, for example, William Bunbury, 
Reports of Cases in the Court of Exchequer (1755), 236; 
Edward Coke, Fourth Institute (ed. of 1797), 134-146; es- 
pecially James Kent, Commentaries (ed. of 1891), I., 375— 
378, and the cases there cited. 

The early life of Patrick Henry and his speech in the 
Parson's Cause are treated by Moses Coit Tyler, Patrick 
Henry (1893); and by William Wirt Henry, Patrick 
Henry (3 vols., 1891), I. The Life by William Wirt (1818) 
is fascinating but uncritical. The report of Rev. James 
Maury, plaintiff in the suit, is given by Ann Maury, Me- 


moirs of a Huguenot Family (1872). Many of the original 
documents in the controversy may be found in W. S. Perry, 
Historical Collections Relating to the American Colonial 
Church (3 vols., 1870), I. In general consult Charles 
Campbell, History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of 
Virginia (1859); William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers, 
and Families of Virginia (1887); Andrew Burnaby, Travels 
through the Middle Settlements (17 59-1 760) ; Richard Bland, 
Letter to the Clergy (1760); and the other authorities cited 
in the text. 


The debates on the Stamp Act in its three stages are in 
part recorded in Cobbett-Hansard, Parliamentary History, 
XVI. ; and the best account of the resistance in America is 
given by Richard Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 
158-200. Bancroft's treatment is very full; Lecky has 
an enlightening discussion; and Hutchinson is helpful 
throughout the controversy. Among the more important 
writings called out by the contest are John Dickinson, 
The Late Regulations (1765); Daniel Dulany, Considera- 
tions on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes (1765); Stephen 
Hopkins, The Rights of the Colonies Examined (1764); on 
the British side, Martin Howard, Letters from a Gentleman 
at Halifax (1765) ; Soame Jenyns, Objections to the Taxation 
of Our Colonies (1765); and George Grenville, Regulations 
Lately Made Concerning the Colonies (1765). Franklin's ex- 
amination is in his Works (Bigelow's ed.), III., 409-450; and 
the proceedings of the Stamp- Act congress are in Hezekiah 
Niles, Principles and Acts of the American Revolution; and 
John Almon, Prior Documents. 


For the colonies the best account of the period of the 
Townshend acts and the royal orders, 1 767-1773, is Richard 
Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 201-293. The proceed- 
ings in Parliament are in Cobbett-Hansard, Parliamentary 
History, XVI., and Cavendish, Debates of the House of Com- 


mons, I. For Massachusetts, Alden Bradfold, State Papers, 
and Thomas Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts Bay, are 
in constant requisition. Lecky's account of the Boston 
"massacre" is just; while Bancroft is prejudiced in the 
extreme. On this episode see Short Narrative of the Horrid- 
Massacre in Boston (1770); A Fair Account (1770); Fred- 
erick Kidder, History of the Boston Massacre (1870); and 
Richard Frothingham, "Sam Adams Regiments," in 
Atlantic Monthly, IX., 201, X., 179, XII., 595. J. R. 
Bartlett, History of the Destruction of the Gas pee (1861), 
or the same in Rlwde Island Colonial Records, VII., 57-192, 
gives the original papers in this affair. E. D. Collins, in 
American Historical Association, Report, 1901, I., 243-271, 
discusses the committees of correspondence; there is an 
excellent study by J. Franklin Jameson, "Origin of the 
Standing Committee System in American Legislative 
Bodies," in Political Science Quarterly, IX.; and a careful 
monograph by Agnes Hunt, The Provincial Committees of 
Safety of the American Revolution (1904). 


Max Farrand, "The Taxation of Tea, 1 767-1 773," in 
American Historical Rcviruu, III., 266-269, clears up some 
popular errors regarding the tea acts. Justin Winsor, 
Narrative and Critical History, VI., 90-96, gives a bibliog- 
raphy of the tea incident and the port bill. The docu- 
ments relating to the relief of Boston are in Massachusetts 
Historical Society, Collections, 4th series, IV. The episode 
of the Hutchinson letters is discussed by Benjamin Franklin, 
Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 405-455, and in Peter Orlando 
Hutchinson, Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson (2 vols., 
1883-1886). See also J. K. Hosmer, Samuel Adams (1893); 
J. T. Morse, Franklin (1892); Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
American Revolution (3 vols., 1899-1903), I.; John Bigelow, 
Life of Franklin (3 vols., 1874); and Copy of Letters sent 
to Great Britain, by his Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, the 
Hon. Andrew Oliver, and several other Persons, Born and 
Educated Among Us (Boston, 1773). 


Victor Coffin, The Province of Quebec and the Early 
American Revolution (University of Wisconsin, Bulletins, 
I., No. 3, 1896), gives the best account of the Quebec act. 
See also his Quebec Act and the American Revolution (Amer- 
ican Historical Association, Report, 1894); his paper in 
Yale Review, August, 1895; and Justin Winsor, "Virginia 
and the Quebec Act," in American Historical Review, I., 
436-442. The proceedings of the first and second Con- 
tinental congresses are in Journals of the American Congress 
(4 vols., 1823). The proceedings of the congress of 1774 
and those of the provincial congress of Massachusetts may 
also be found in Force, American Archives, 4th series, I. 
Under the supervision of William Lincoln the state of 
Massachusetts has also published The Journals of tlie 
Provincial Congress in I774~J775 ( l8 38). On these 
congresses there is a good paper by Albion W. Small, The 
Beginnings of American Nationality {Johns Hopkins 
University Studies, VIII., Nos. 1, 2). On Lexington and 
Bunker Hill the most important work is Frothingham, The 
Siege of Boston (4th ed., 1873). See also Charles Francis 
Adams, "The Battle of Bunker Hill," in American His- 
torical Revieiv, I., 401-413; the bibliographies in Winsor, 
Handbook, 26-59; an(i Narrative and Critical History, VI., 
174 et seq. 



Acts of trade. See Naviga- 
tion acts. 

Adams, John, on independence 
(1755), 18; ^(1774), 298; on 
writs of assistance case, 77; 
on repeal of Stamp Act, 174; 
defends soldiers, 204; on re- 
ligious phase of Revolution, 
206, 216; in Continental Con- 
gress, 287; on social Phila- 
delphia (1774), 288; on num- 
ber of loyalists, 317; bibli- 
ography, 334. 

Adams, Samuel, sugar-act pro- 
test, 110; circular letter, 187; 
evidence against, 201 ; charac- 
ter, 253-255; committee of 
correspondence, 255, 256; 
urges a congress, 265; and 
independence (1773), 266; 
(1774), 298; and tea, 270, 
271; in Continental Congress, 
287, 291. 

Alamance, battle, 224. 

Albany, population (1763), 20. 

Albany plan, 13, 14, 226. 

Allen, Ethan, Ticonderoga, 310. 

Argenson, Marquis de, predicts 
independence, 18. 

Army, American, training of 
French war, 10; preparation, 
301, 306; Congress adopts, 

Army, British, in colonies, pro- 
posed, 102, 104; protests 
against, 113, 124, 247; pur- 
pose, 123; billeting act, 138, 

175; for Boston, 189, 193, 
195, 197, 283; Boston mas- 
sacre, 202-205; quartering 
act, 276. 

Ashley, John, on mercantile 
system, 63. 

Assemblies and governors, 16, 

Association of 1774, 294, 295; 
ratification and enforcement, 
296; Gage's proclamation, 
299; parliamentary retalia- 
tion, 304-306. 

Baltimore, population (1763), 

Barre, Isaac, on Stamp Act, 136. 
Bean, William, at Watauga, 


Bernard, Francis, and billeting 
act, 176, 177; as governor, 
178; and council, 178-180, 
201; and stamp -riot com- 
pensation, 180; and con- 
vention of towns, 197; leaves, 

Bibliographies of period 1763- 

,i775> 327- 
Billeting act, 138; and New 

York assembly, 175, 183, 185, 
245; and Massachusetts as- 
sembly, 176; in Boston, 198. 

Bland, Richard, committee of 
correspondence, 257; in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 

Board of Trade, authority, 72; 
and Vandalia, 232. 




Boone, Daniel, at Watauga, 
235; in Kentucky, 238. 

Boonesborough settled, 238. 

Boston, population (1763), 20; 
sugar-act protest ,110; Stamp - 
Act riots, 151, 152; non- 
importation, 186; and cus- 
toms commissioners, 188, 
199; troops ordered to, 189, 
J 93» 195 ; impressment riot, 
193; Liberty sloop riot, 193; 
open customs violations, 194; 
preparation for troops, 196; 
arrival of troops, 197; atti- 
tude towards troops, 202, 
203; massacre, 203-205; ren- 
dezvous for navy, 248; com- 
mittee of correspondence ,255, 
2t;6; tea-party, 269-271; port 
bill, 273, 280, 281, 283; aid 
for, 283; military possession, 
283; capital a^ain, 299; forti- 
fied,_ 300; siege, 309-311; 
bibliography of massacre, 
344; of port bill, 344; of 
siege, 345. 

Botetourt, Lord, and Virginia 
protest, 200. 

Boucher, Jonathan, on relig- 
ious phase of Revolution, 
207; on passive obedience, 

3 2 5-. . . 

Bounties under navigation acts, 

58-61; (1765), 134, 138. 

Bouquet, Henry, treaty, 230. 

Bunker Hill, battle, 310; bibli- 
ography, 345. 

Burgoyne, John, joins Gage, 

Burke, Edmund, and inde- 
pendence, 7, 272; on coercive 
acts, 281; on conciliation, 

_ 3°5- 

Burnaby, Andrew, on two- 
penny act, 94. 

Bute, Earl of, premier, 29; rise, 
29; and king, 158. 

Butler, Joseph, and colonial 
church, 215. 

Camm, John, parson's cause, 


Canada, Quebec act, 276-279; 

invitation to, 295. 
Carr, Dabney, committee of 

correspondence, 257. 
Carter's Valley, settlement, 236. 
Catholicism, Quebec act, 276, 


Chandler, T. B., on colonial 

bishops, 217. 
Charleston, population (1763), 


Charlotiana, 229. 

Charters, Massachusetts, an- 
nulled, 274. 

Chatham, Earl of. See Pitt. 

Chauncy, Charles, on colonial 
bishops, 218, 2.19. 

Cherokee Indians, location, 235; 
cede Transylvania, 239-240. 

Child, Josiah, on mercantile 
system, 63. 

Choctaw Indians, location, 235. 

Church, Benjamin, paper, 256. 

Church of England in colonies, 
establishment, 208; antip- 
athy to bishops, 208; early 
agitation for bishops, 208, 
209 ; zeal of clergy for bishops, 
209, 218; authority of bishop 
of London, 210, 214; com- 
missaries, 211; Society for 
Propagating the Gospel, 211; 
its zeal for oishops, 211; mo- 
tive and plan for bishops, 
212-220; establishment fear- 
ed, 213, 214; Mayhew con- 
troversy, 215, 216; Chandler- 
Chauncy controversy, 217- 
219; indifference of laity, 218; 
influence on Revolution, 219- 
221; bibliography, 338. 

Cities, in 1763, 20; growth of 
English, 24. 

Clinton, Sir Henry, joins Gage, 

Coercive acts, 273-276, 280- 
282; effect, 282-285; prep- 




aration to resist, 298; bibli- 
ography, 344. 

Colden, Cadwallader, and 
tenure of judges, 86; and 
appeal to Privy Council, 130; 
and sugar act, 131; and 
Stamp Act, 141. 

Colonial system. See Mercan- 
tile system. Navigation acts. 

Colonies, results of French war, 
5-15; intercommunication 
(1763), 15; government quar- 
rels, 16, 84; revenue from, 
16, 71, 102-104, 122; theory 
of control, 42, 43, 47; royal 
prerogative and orders, 43, 
49, 84, 85, 87, 100, 245-253; 
acceptance of theoretical con- 
trol, 44; prosperity, 44; polit- 
ical conditions, 44; morals, 
44-46; royal control of of- 
ficers, 85-87, 183, 184, 248, 
249; rights, 80, in, 112, 115- 
117, 133, iSS-^. 2 93> 322; 
ministerial scheme (1763), 
102-104, 122-124; uniform 
government, 122, i23;Town- 
shend's policy, 182; and 
Quebec act, 276-279; rev- 
olutionary government, 296; 
bibliography of individual, 
329-331; archives, 333. See 
also Army, Church of Eng- 
land, Commerce, Concilia- 
tion, Independence, Loyal- 
ists, Parliament, Revolution, 
Taxation, Union, West, and 
colonies by name. 

Commerce, growth of British, 
23; colonial balance of trade, 
107; of colonies restrained, 
304-306. See also Customs, 
Mercantile system, Naviga- 
tion acts, Non-importation, 
Slave-trade, Tea, Townshend 

Committees of correspondence, 
on sugar act, 114, 131; lo- 
cal, 255, 256, 271; intercolo- 

VOL. VIII. — 24 

nial, 257, 271; bibliography, 

Committees of inspection, 296, 
297. See also Association. 

Committees of safety, 301; 
bibliography, 344. 

Compton, Henry, and colonial 
church, 210. 

Conciliation, Pitt's plan (1775), 
303; North's plan (1775), 
304, 310; Burke's speech, 
305; Galloway's plan, 321; 
possibility (1775), 3 2 4- 

Concord, battle, 308, 309; 
bibliography, 345. 

Connecticut, and Stamp Act, 
125, 148; bibliography, 329, 


Continental Congress, first, 
Adams urges, 265; agitation 
for, 284; Virginia recom- 
mends, 285; selection of dele- 
gates, 286; delegates, 287; 
broadening influence, 288; 
governmental character, 289, 
290; organization, 290; equal 
colonial vote, 290; debates, 
ruling spirits, 291; Suffolk 
resolves, 292; conciliation 
plan rejected, 292; Declara- 
tion of Rights, 293; Associa- 
tion, 294, 295; other papers, 
295; character of papers, 
295; action of Parliament, 
302-306; bibliography, 345. 

Continental Congress, second, 
meets, 311; assumes national 
functions, 311; advises col- 
onies, 311; creates army, 311; 
bibliography^ 345. # 

Conway, H. S., in ministry, 161. 

Cooper, Myles, loyalist, 324. 

Corruption in Parliament, 29- 

3 2 - 

Cotton, John, in Stamp Act 
Congress, 154. 

Council, appointment of Massa- 
chusetts, 178-180, 274. 

Courts. See Judiciary. 


Coxe, Daniel, plan of union, 13. ' 
Coxe, William, stamp officer, 

resigns, 153. 
Creek Indians, location, 235. 
Crime, English conditions 

(1763) » 38-40. 

Crown, control over colonies, 
43> 49. 84, 85, 87, 100, 245- 
253; and colonial officers, 
85-87, 183, 184, 248, 249. 
See also George III. 

Crown Point captured, 310. 

Customs, established, 57; of- 
ficers, 72; writs of assist- 
ance, 73-75, Si; duty on 
slaves, 89; naval protection, 
103, 251; board of commis- 
sioners, 183, 188, 194, 195, 
199; Townshend duties, 183, 
243; Liberty sloop riot, 193; 
open violations, 194; Gaspee 
affair, 251-253, 257; tea, 243, 
244, 268-271. 

Dartmouth, Lord, and Gaspee 
affair, 257. 

Davenant, Charles, plan of 
union, 12. 

Dawes, William, alarm, 307. 

Deane, Silas, in Continental 
Congress. 287. 

Declaratory act (1766), 172; 
purpose, 174; upheld, 244. 

Delaware and Stamp Act Con- 
gress, 148. 

Dickinson, John, and proprie- 
tary, 126 ; in Stamp Act Con- 
gress, 155; Farmer's Letters, 
185 ; in Continental Congress, 
287,295; bibliography, 334. 

Dobbs, Arthur, and sugar act, 

Duane, James, in Continental 
Congress, 287, 293. 

Dudingston, William, Gaspee 
affair, 251-253. 

Dulany, Daniel, on virtual rep- 
resentation, 168. 

Dunmore's war, 241. 

Economic conditions, ignorance 
of economic laws, 2 1 ; English 
(1760), 23, 24; phase of Rev- 
olution, 68, 118- 120, 325; 
bibliography, 337, 339. See 
also Commerce, Revenue, 

Eliot, Andrew, on colonial 
bishops, 215. 

England, result of Seven Years' 
War, 3; empire (1763), 22, 
42; prosperity, 23; urban 
growth, 24; government 
(i7 6 3). 2 5; Whig oligarchy, 
28; rise of public opinion, 36; 

civil rights (1763), 37. 3 8 ; 
criminal code, 38-40; slavery, 
40; slave-trade, 40-42; im- 
perial theory, 42, 43; tax 
burden, 124; attitude tow- 
ards colonies (1774), 273; 
( I 77S). 3 02 ; bibliography of 
statesmen, 334; of condi- 
tions, 335, 341. See also 
Colonies, Crown, George III., 
Episcopacy in colonies. See 
Church of England. 

Fauquier, Francis, and two- 
penny act, 95. 

Fees, in North Carolina, 223; 
Maryland controversy, 251. 

Finances. See Revenue, Taxa- 

Fisheries, effect of sugar act, 
108, 112; whale, 135; pro- 
hibited, 305. 

Fitch, Thomas, Reasons, 126. 

Fox, Henry, corruption, 30. 

Franklin, Benjamin, on colo- 
nial loyalty, 8; Albany plan, 
13, 14, 226; and Stamp Act, 
124, 136-138; and proprie- 
tary, 126; agent in Eng- 
land, 128, 260; examination 
(1766), 169-171; plans for 
new colonies, 226, 231; and 
Hutchinson letters, 260-265; 



dismissed, 265; leaves Eng- 
land, 265. 

French and Indian War, re- 
sults, 5-15; bibliography of 
results, 341. 

Frontier, Shenandoah Valley, 
226; proclamation line, 229. 
See also West. 

Fuller, Rose, on Boston port 
bill, 281. 

Fur-trade, 52, 59. 

Gadsden, Christopher, and 
Stamp Act Congress, 147, 
155; in Continental Congress, 

Gage, Thomas, and billeting 
act, 198; on coercion, 273; 
governor of Massachusetts, 
283; seizes munitions, 297, 
306; on Association, 299; 
civil power nullified, 301; re- 
inforced, 306; Concord, 307- 
309; besieged, 309-311. 

Galloway, Joseph, and pro- 
prietary, 126; in Continental 
Congress, 287, 291; concilia- 
tion plan, 292, 321—324. 

Gaspee affair, 251-253; com- 
mission, 257; Virginia res- 
olutions, 257; bibliography, 


Gee, Joshua, on mercantile 
system, 63, 107. 

George III., as king, 26, 28; 
training, 26; private charac- 
ter, 27, 30; and Pitt, 29; 
personal rule, 29, 158; cor- 
ruption, 29-32; and Gren- 
ville, 104, 1 58-161; and 
Stamp Act, 163, 171; and 
Whigs, 242 ; and tea tax, 244, 
269; and Massachusetts, 273; 
and coercion, 282, 302. 

Georgia, and Stamp Act Con- 
gress, 148; speakership con- 
troversy, 249; and Associa- 
tion, 296, 306; bibliography, 


Germain, Lord George, on coer- 
cive acts, 280. 

Gibson, Edmund, and colonial 
church, 211. 

Government, frontier compacts, 
237-240. See also Colonies, 

Governors, and legislatures, 16, 
84; royal control, 183, 184. 

Grafton, Duke of, ministry, 
181, 242. 

Grenville, George, corruption, 
31; character, 102; premier, 
103; colonial policy, 103, 
121-123, 181; and Stamp 
Act, 124, 134, 164; palliative 
measures, 138; fall, 158-161; 
bibliography, 334. 

Gridley, Jeremiah, writs of 
assistance, 76, 77. 

Hancock, John, Liberty sloop 
riot, 193; in provincial con- 
gress, 301; committee of 
safety, 306. 

Harrison, Benjamin, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 

Harrod, James, in Kentucky, 

Harrodsburg, settled, 238. 

Hawley, Joseph, on parlia- 
mentary legislation, 184. 

Hazard, Samuel, plan for 
colony, 227. 

Hemp, trade, 60, 134. 

Henderson, Richard, Transyl- 
vania, 239. 

Henry, Patrick, success at bar, 
97; parson's cause, 98-101; 
and Stamp Act, 142 — 145; 
committee of correspondence, 
257; in Continental Congress, 
287, 290; bibliography, 334, 

Hillsborough, Lord, colonial 
secretary, 188; and Massa- 
chusetts circular letter, 189; 
andVandalia, 231; on Town- 
shend acts, 243. 



Hood, Zachariah, stamp officer, 
resigns, 153. 

Hopkins, Stephen, and Stamp 
Act, 132 ; and Gas pee af- 
fair, 252 ; in Continental 
Congress, 287; bibliography, 

Houston, James, stamp officer, 

resigns, 153. 
Howard, Martin, on colonial 

rights, 133; mobbed, 153. 
Howe, Sir William, joins Gage, 


Hughes, John, stamp officer, 

137; resigns, 153. 
Husband, Hermon, Regulator, 


Hutchinson, Thomas, chief- jus- 
tice, 75, 76; writs of as- 
sistance, 81; and sugar act, 
1 14; and Stamp Act, 125, 140; 
riot against, 152; acting 
governor, 202; on soldiers in 
Boston, 203; and assembly, 
245-247; governor, 248; in- 
come-tax veto, 248; on com- 
mittees of correspondence, 
256; on supremacy of Parlia- 
ment, 259; letters, 260-265; 
on Townshend duties, 266; 
on military preparation, 
271; superseded, 272; bibli- 
ography, 332; bibliography 
of letters, 344. 

Impressment in Boston, 193. 

Independence, predicted, 7-9, 
18; not apprehended (1755), 
17; desire disclaimed, 117, 
131, 186, 297, 298; suggested 
(1765), 150; colonies accused 
of desiring, 188, 198; S. 
Adams desires, 266; English 
suggestion, 272; bibliography 
of early spirit, 340. 

Indians, control under Albany 
plan, 226; proclamation line, 
229, 230; leave Kentucky, 
23°> 235; cessions, 231, 239, 

240; in Southwest, 234; 

Dunmore's war, 241. 
Indigo trade, 60. 
Ingersoll, Jared, stamp officer, 

137; resigns, 153. 
Ireland, condition (1763), 22; 

and navigation acts, 53, 
Iroquois, Fort Stanwix treaty, 


Jackson, Richard, Pennsyl- 
vania agent, 127. 

Jay, John, in Continental Con- 
gress, 287, 293, 295. 

Jefferson, Thomas, in house of 
burgesses, 200; committee of 
correspondence, 257; resolves 
(1774), 285. 

Jenyns, Soame, on Stamp Act, 


Johnson, Augustus, mobbed, 

Jones, N. W., speakership, 249. 

Judiciary, status in England 
(1763), 25; English criminal 
code, 38-40; colonial ad- 
miralty courts, 73, 84, 102, 
103, 105; tenure of colonial 
judges, 85-87; appeal to 
king, 130; salaries of judges, 
royal control, 183, 184, 248, 
249; trial in England, 199- 
201, 257, 275; North Caro- 
lina, 224. 

Jury trial, right denied, 73, 105; 
right asserted, 156. 

Kalm, Peter, on French in 
America, 7. 

Kentucky, Indians leave, 230, 
235; settlement, 237; Tran- 
sylvania, 238-241; county in 
Virginia, 241. 

Knox, William, stamp officer, 

Laud, Archbishop, and colo- 
nial bishops, 208. 
Lee, R. H., in house of bur- 

INDEX 353 

gesses, 200; committee of 
correspondence, 257; in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 
Legislation, royal veto, 87-90, 

9 2 » 95- 

Leonard, Daniel, on committees 
of correspondence, 256 ; loyal- 
ist, 324. 

Lexington, battle, 307; bibliog- 
raphy, 345. 

Lincoln, Benjamin, in provin- 
cial congress, 301. 

Livingston, Philip, in Stamp 
Act Congress, 154. 

Livingston, R. R., on sugar act, 

Livingston, William, in Stamp 

Act Congress, 155. 
Lloyd, Caleb, stamp officer, 


Local government, colonial self, 
44- , 

Loyalists, on colonial rights, 
i33»3 I 4,32o; and episcopacy, 
220; formation of party, 285, 
316; persecuted, 296, 321 ; de- 
nounce revolutionary meth- 
od, 314, 315, 320; conscien- 
tiousness, 315, 319; number, 
316-318; divisions, 318; and 
virtual representation , 320; 
views and conciliation plan, 
321-324 ; non - progressive, 
32 y, bibliography, 337. 

Lumber trade, 52, 60, 138. 

Lynch, Thomas, in Stamp Act 
Congress, 155. 

McDougall, Alexander, and 

billeting act, 245. 
McEvers, James, stamp officer, 

1 53- 

McKean, Thomas, in Stamp 
Act Congress, 154; in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 

Mail, private, in England, 262. 

Mansfield, Lord, on colonial 
rights, 165. 

Manufactures, rise of colonial, 

61; prohibited, 62; encour- 
aged, 294. 
Maryland, and Stamp Act, 129; 
and Stamp Act Congress, 148; 
and Massachusetts circular 
letter, 191; fees controver- 
sy, 251; bibliography, 330, 


Massachusetts, population 
(1775), 20; writs of assistance, 
74-82; government quarrels, 
84; and sugar act, 108, 112- 
115; and Stamp Act, 114, 125 ; 
calls Stamp Act Congress, 
145; and billeting act, 176; 
Bernard as governor, 178, 
201, 202; appointment of 
council, 178-180; stamp-riot 
compensation, 180; circular 
letter (1868), 187-190, 198; 
convention of towns, 196; 
assembly and royal orders, 
245-248; and garrison of reg- 
ulars, 247; salaries of crown 
officers, 248; committees of 
correspondence, 255, 256; and 
supremacy of Parliament, 
259; and Hutchinson letters, 
260-265; military prepa- 
ration, 271, 301, 306; im- 
peaches Oliver, 272; attitude 
of king, 273; regulating act, 
274; calls Continental Con- 
gress, 286; Suffolk resolves, 
292; resistance of regulating 
act, 298 ; seizure of munitions, 
299; provincial congress, 300, 
301 ; royal government super- 
seded, 301; declared in re- 
bellion, 304; restraining act, 
304, 305; Salem affair, 306; 
Lexington and Concord, 307- 
309 ; revolutionary govern- 
ment, 311; bibliography, 329, 

332, 333. 335» 345- See also 

Mauduit, Israel, Massachusetts 

agent, 113. 
Maury, James, parson's cause, 



96-98; on Henry's speech, 

Mayhew, Jonathan, Stamp Act 
sermon, 151; controversy, 
215, 216. 

Mercantile system, basis, 50; 
expression, 50-62; upheld, 
63; effect on colonies, 64-67, 
325; administration, 66. See 
also Navigation acts. 

Mercer, George, stamp officer, 

Meserve, George, stamp officer, 

Middleton, Henry, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 

Mifflin, Thomas, in Continental 
Congress, 287. 

Minute-men, 301. 

Moffat, Thomas, mobbed, 153. 

Molasses act. See Sugar act. 

Money, tobacco currency, 90; 
scarcity, 223. 

Montagu, Lord Charles, and 
South Carolina assembly, 250. 

Montesquieu, Baron de, pre- 
dicts independence, 18. 

Moore, Sir Henry, and billeting 
act, 175. 

Mutiny act. See Billeting act. 

Naval stores, trade, 52, 58, 

Navigation acts, effect in Eng- 
land, 23; (1660), 51-54; enu- 
merated commodities, 52, 54, 
57-59; England as staple, 54- 
56, 65, 105, 109; (1663), 54; 
intercolonial trade restricted, 
56; bounties, 59-61, 134, 
138; effect, 64-67; adminis- 
tration, 66; cost, 70; evaded, 
71; machinery, 72; writs of 
assistance, 73-83; to be en- 
forced, 102, 103; sugar act 
(1764), 104-106; its effect, 
106-109; protests, 109-120, 
127-132; grievance, 325 ; bib- 
liography, 339, 340, 342. 

Navy, officers as customs of- 
ficers, 103, 251; rendezvous 
at Boston, 248. 

Negroes, population (1763), 20. 
See also Slave-trade, Slavery. 

Nelson, William, and West, 234. 

New England, and illicit trade, 
82 ; fisheries and West India 
trade, 107, 112; and episco- 
pacy, 208, 209, 219. See also 
colonies by name. 

New Hampshire, and Stamp 
Act Congress, 148; bibliog- 
raphy, 329, 333. 

New Jersey, and Stamp Act 
Congress, 146, 148; bibliog- 
raphy, 333. 

New York, population (1775), 
20; tenure of judges, 86; 
sugar-act protest, 130, 131; 
and Stamp Act Congress, 
148; assembly and billeting 
act, 175, 183, 185, 245; and 
Association, 296, 306; re- 
monstrances, 296; bibliog- 
raphy, 329, 332, 333, 336. 

New York City, population 
(1763), 20; Stamp Act riots, 
149; Drawls with soldiers, 


Newport customs trouble, 195. 

Newspapers (1763), 15. 

Nollichucky, settlement, 236. 

Non- importation, agreements 
(1765), 149; (1767), 185, 186, 
201; Parliament condemns, 
198 ; result, 244 ; discontinued, 
244; Boston suggests (1774), 
282; Association of 1774, 
294-297, 299. 

North, Lord, leadership, 188; 
premier, 242; and Town- 
shend acts, 243; conciliation 
plan, 304, 310; bibliography, 

North Carolina, population 
(1775), 20; sugar-act protest, 
128; and Stamp Act Con- 
gress, 148; war of Regula- 

INDEX 355 

tion, 222-225; and Watauga, 
236, 237; and Transylvania, 
240; excepted from restrain- 
ing act, 306; bibliography, 

33°. 333» 335- 
Nugent, Robert, on Stamp Act, 


Ogden, Robert, and Stamp 
Act Congress, 146. 

Ohio Company (1749), 226. 

Oliver, Andrew, stamp officer, 
151; mobbed, 151; resigns, 
151, 152; letters, 260-262. 

Oliver, Peter, impeached, 272, 

2 99- 

Otis, James, Jr., writs of assist- 
ance, 77-83; on sugar act, 
1 1 2-1 14; Rights, 1 1 5-1 17; 
and stamp tax, 141, 145; 
in Stamp Act Congress, 155; 
on representation in Parlia- 
ment, 167; on circular letter, 

Otis, James, Sr., and chief- 
justiceship, 76. 

Pamphlets, bibliography of 
revolutionary, 337. 

Parker, John, Lexington, 307. 

Parliament, responsible minis- 
try, 25; Bute ministry, 29; 
corruption, 29-32; represen- 
tation, 33-36; supremacy 
over colonies, 43, 44, 1 16, 123, 
164-167, 172-174, 185, 243, 
259, 321; Grenville ministry, 
103 ; limitations, 112; colonial 
representation, 116, 126, 134, 
i3S» I 5 6 . 165-169, 320; spe- 
cial colonial legislation, 156; 
Rockingham ministry, 161; 
Grafton-Pitt ministry, 181; 
Townshend's leadership, 181; 
North's leadership, 188; cen- 
sures Massachusetts, 198; 
approves ministerial policy, 
198; advises trial in England, 
199; division of Whigs, 242; 

North ministry, 242; colonial 
crisis (1774), 272, 273; and 
colonial state papers, 297, 
302, 323; favors coercion, 
302; and conciliation, 303, 
304; error of policy, 324; 
bibliography, 333. See also 
Colonies, England, Mercan- 
tile system, acts by name. 

Parson's cause, origin, 90-95; 
trials, 95-98; Henry's speech, 
98-101; bibliography, 342. 

Partridge, Oliver, loyalist, 146. 

Paxton, Charles, letters, 260, 

Pendleton, Edmund, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287. 

Penn, William, plan of union, 

Pennsylvania, population 
(1775), 20; factions, 126; 
stamp-tax protest, 127; and 
sugar act, 127; and Stamp 
Act Congress, 148; bibliog- 
raphy, 329, 333. 

Percy, Lord, Concord, 309, 315. 

Petition, right, 135, 190, 192, 

3 2 3- 

Philadelphia, population (1763), 
20; society (1774), 288. 

Pickering, Timothy, on number 
of loyalists, 316. 

Pitcairn, John, Lexington, 307. 

Pitt, William, and George III., 
29; ministry, 160, 181-183; 
on colonial taxation, 166; 
opposes independence, 272; 
and quartering act, 281; on 
Continental Congress, 295; 
effort for conciliation, 303; 
bibliography, 334. 

Poetry, bibliography of contem- 
porary, 337. 

Point Pleasant, battle, 241. 

Politics, English, 28-32, 158, 
242; standard of colonial, 44; 
revolutionary parties, 140, 
316; bibliography of English, 

335> 34i- 



Population, elements of colo- 
nial, 19; colonial (1 760-1 780), 
19 ; individual colonies (1775), 
20; urban (1763), 20; Great 
Britain (1763), 22; British 
urban, 24. 

Pownall, Thomas, on western 
colonies, 227; on Townshend 
acts, 242. 

Pratt, Benjamin, as judge, 86. 

Press, colonial newspapers 
(1763), 15; rise of English, 
36, 37- 

Preston, Thomas, Boston mas- 
sacre, 204. 

Prisons, English (1763), 39. 

Proclamation line (1763), pur- 
pose, 229. 

Providence, population (1763), 
20; customs officer mobbed, 
195. See also Gas pee. 

Public opinion, rise of English, 

Quartering act, 276. 

Quebec act, provisions and 
purpose, 276-279; result, 
279; bibliography, 344. 

Quincy, Josiah, defends soldiers, 
204; bibliography, 334. 

Randolph, Peyton, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287, 290. 

Read, George, in Continental 
Congress, 287. 

Regulating act, 274; resistance, 

Regulation war, causes, 222- 
224; strife, 224; migration, 
225, 236; and Revolution, 
225; bibliography, 339. 

Religion, English conditions 
(1763), 38; phase of Revolu- 
tion, 206, 207, 219-221; in- 
tolerance, 228; Quebec act, 
276, 279. See also Church 
of England. 

Representation, parliamentary, 
3 3-3 6 ; and taxation, 111, 

112, 116, 126-130, 144, 156, 
186, 320, 322; virtual, 134, 
320; colonial, in Parliament, 
135, 156, 165-169; Quebec 
act, 278. 

Requisitions, colonial, 127, 136. 

Restraining act, 304-306. 

Revenue from colonies, pro- 
posed, 16, 71, 102-104, 122; 
and mercantile system, 64; 
made necessary, 183; under 
Townshend acts, 242. 

Revere, Paul, alarm, 307. 

Revolution, American, begin- 
ning, 3; discipline for, 4; 
stages, 4; primary cause, 47, 
65-67; social and economic 
phases, 68, 11 8- 120; unique- 
ness, 69, 313; prelude, 70; 
principles involved, 112; re- 
sponsibility for, 136; crisis of 
impending, 199, 299, 300; 
religious cause, 206, 207, 219- 
221; and war of Regulation, 
225: military p rep aration , 
271, 297-299, 301, 306; out- 
break, 307-309; common 
cause, 309, 315; siege of 
Boston, 309 - 311; Ticon- 
deroga, 3 10 ; a political move- 
ment, 313; conditions of 
development, 314; justifica- 
tion, 324-326; character of 
leaders, 325; bibliography of 
preliminaries, 327-337. See 
also Colonies. 

Rhode Island, and sugar act, 
109; protests (1765), 132; 
and Stamp Act Congress, 
147; mobs, 195; Gaspee af- 
fair, 251-253, 257; bibliog- 
raphy, 329, 332, 333. 

Rice trade, 59, 138. 

Rights, civil, English (1763), 
37-40; colonist, Otis on, 
80, 1 1 5-1 17; jury trials, 105, 
156; as Britons, m, 112, 155; 
loyalist views, 133, 322; 
petition, 135, 190, 192, 323; 



trial over-seas, 199-201, 257; 
declaration (1774), 293. See 
also Representation. 
Robertson, James, at Watauga, 


Rockingham, Marquis de, min- 
istry, 161; fall, 181; bibliog- 
raphy, 335. 

Rodney, Caesar, in Stamp Act 
Congress, 154; in Continental 
Congress, 287. 

Romney at Boston, 193, 194. 

Ruggles, Timothy, loyalist, 146; 
in Stamp Act Congress, 154. 

Rutledge, Edward, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287, 293. 

Rutledge, John, in Stamp Act 
Congress, 155; in Continental 
Congress, 287. 

Salaries, payment of colonial, 
86, 122, 123, 183, 248. 

Salem affair, 306. 

Scotland, representation, 35. 

Scott, J. M., suggests indepen- 
dence, 150. 

Seabury, Samuel, loyalist, 324. 

Seeker, Thomas, and colonial 
church, 212, 215. 

Servants, indentured (1775), 
20; criminals, 21. 

Seven Years' War, results, 3. 

Shawnee Indians, leave Ken- 
tucky, 230. 

Shenandoah Valley, settled, 226. 

Sherlock, Thomas, and parson's 
cause, 93 ; and colonial church, 

Sherman, Roger, in Continental 
Congress, 287. 

Ship-building, 61, 65. 

Shirley, William, on indepen- 
dence, 17; proposes tax on 
colonies, 71, 122. 

Slave-trade, English, 40, 41; 
extent, 41; royal veto on 
impost, 89; royal order 
against obstruction, 250; dis- 
continued, 294. 

Slavery in England, 40. 
Smith, Francis, Concord, 307- 

Smuggling, 71. 

Social conditions, results of 
French war, 6, 10, 15; 
ignorance of social laws, 21; 
corruption in England, 29- 
32, 45; English criminals, 38- 
40; slavery and slave-trade, 
40-42; colonial, 44-46; of a 
colonist, 47, 69; phase of 
Revolution, 68; North Caro- 
lina, 222-224; elements of 
progress, 313, 325; bibliog- 
raphy of English, 335; of 
American, 337. See also 
Church of England. 

Society for Propagating the 
Gospel, 211, 215. 

Sons of Liberty, activity, 149. 

Sources, on period 176 3- 1775, 
331-337; on parson's cause, 
343; on Stamp Act, 343; on 
Townshend acts, 343; on 
coercive acts, 344; on con- 
gresses, 345. 

South Carolina, and stamp tax, 
128; and Stamp Act Con- 
gress, 147; and royal orders, 
249; bibliography, 330, 335. 

Southwest, Ohio Company 
(1749), 226; Indians retire 
(1764), 230; Indian tribes, 
234; Watauga settlement, 
235-237; pioneer govern- 
ments, 237-240; settlement 
of Kentucky, 237; Transyl- 
vania, 238-241. See also 

Sovereignty of Congress, 289, 
290, 311. 

Stamp Act, proposed, 103, 104; 
first reception of proposal, 
115, 118; Grenville's method, 
124; protests, 125-133; de- 
fence, 133-135; protests 
ignored, 135; passed, 135, 
136; provisions, 137; officers, 



137; palliatives, 138; re- 
ception, 140-142; Virginia 
resolutions, 142-145; call for 
congress, 145-148; passive 
resistance, 148; active re- 
sistance, 149-15 1 ; riots, 151- 
154; officers resign, 153; 
nullified, 153, 154; congress, 
154-157; English opinion, 
162, 163; repeal, 164-172; 
Franklin on, 1 69-171; effect 
of repeal, 174; question of riot 
compensation, 178, 180; bib- 
liography, 343. 

Stanwix, Fort, treaty, 231. 

Suffolk resolves, 292. 

Suffrage in England, 33-36. 

Sugar, trade, 52, 57, 71, 75, 113. 
See also Sugar act. 

Sugar act (1733), 59,66; (1764), 
104-106; effect, 106-109; pro- 
tests, 109-118, 127-132; im- 
portance, 1 1 8-1 20; bibliog- 
raphy, 339. 

Taxation, on colonies proposed 
16, 17, 121; and representa- 
tion, in, 112, 116, 126-130, 
144, 156, 186, 320, 322; in- 
ternal and external, 116, 121, 
126-130, 164-167, 171, 182, 
184; and requisitions, 127, 
136; parliamentary right as- 
serted, 123, 164-167, 172- 
174, 244; burden in England, 
124; origin in colonies, 177; 
in North Carolina, 223; mis- 
take of parliamentary, 324. 
See also Stamp Act, Tea, 
Townshend acts. 

Tea, tax, 183, 243, 244; draw- 
back and cheapness, 184, 
267, 268; reason for retain- 
ing tax, 266; non-importa- 
tion, 268; attempt to force 
importation, 268; resistance, 
269; Boston tea-party, 269- 
271; bibliography, 344. 

Temple, Earl, and Pitt, 160. 

Temple, John, and Hutchinson 

letters, 264. 
Tennessee. See Southwest. 
Thacher, Oxenbridge, writs of 

assistance, 76,77; Sentiments, 

Ticonderoga, captured, 310. 

Tilghman, Edward, in Stamp 
Act Congress, 154. 

Tobacco, trade, 52, 53, 56-58; 
currency, 90. 

Town - meetings forbidden in 
Massachusetts, 275, 280. 

Townshend, Charles, colonial 
policy, 102, 122, 182; leader- 
ship, 181; acts, 183; death, 

Townshend acts, 183; effect, 
184; opposition, 185-187; 
Massachusetts circular letter, 
187-192; failure, 242; partial 
repeal, 243, 244; bibliog- 
raphy, 343. See also Tea. 

Transylvania, 238; government, 
239; fate, 240. 

Travel (1763), 15. 

Treason, trial over-seas, 199- 

Treaties, Fort Stanwix, 231. 
Tryon, William, and Regulators, 

Tucker, Josiah, advises separa- 
tion, 272. 

Turgot predicts independence, 

Union, unconscious prepara- 
tion, 4; no sentiment for, 8, 
15; effect of French war, 10, 
14, 15; early plans, 10-13; 
Albany plan, 13, 14, 226; 
sentiment fostered (1764), 
109, in, 114; Stamp Act 
Congress, 145-148, 154-157; 
Massachusetts circular letter, 
187, 191; committees of cor- 
respondence, 256-258; effect 
of coercive acts, 284; Gallo- 
way's plan, 292; beginning 



of federal, 295; common 
cause, 309; bibliography, 340. 
See also Continental Con- 

Van, Charles, on coercive 

acts, 280. 
Vandalia, 231-233. 
Vergennes, Comte de, predicts 

independence, 18. 
Veto, royal, in colonies, 87-90, 

.9 2 .> 95- 

Virginia, population (1775), 20; 
and royal veto, 87-89, 92, 
95; and slave-trade, 89, 250; 
tobacco currency, 90; par- 
son's cause, 91-101; and 
stamp tax, 129; Stamp Act 
resolutions, 142-145; and 
Stamp Act Congress, 148; 
and Massachusetts circular 
letter, 187; protest (1769); 
200; non-importation, 201, 
opposes episcopacy, 220; 
Shenandoah Valley settled, 
226; attitude towards West, 
233, 240, 277; intercolonial 
committees of correspond- 
ence, 257; and coercive acts, 
285; recommends a congress, 
285; provincial congress, 286; 
bibliography, 330, 333. 

Walpole, Horatio, on colo- 
nial church, 214. 

Walpole, Sir Robert, and colo- 
nial church, 212. 

Walpole, Thomas, Vandalia, 231. 

Warren, Joseph, paper, 256; on 
committee of safety, 306. 

Warrington, Thomas, parson's 
cause, 96. 

Washington, George, in Con- 
tinental Congress, 287; on 
independence (1774), 297; 

offers to raise force, 297; 
commander - in - chief, 311; 
bibliography, 334. 

Watauga, settlement, 235, 236; 
jurisdiction, 236; govern- 
ment, 237; part of North 
Carolina, 237. 

Wedderburn, Alexander, and 
Franklin, 264; on Quebec act, 

West, interest in, awakened, 
226; Franklin's colonial plan, 
226; Pownall's plan, 227; 
Hazard's plan, 227; Charlo- 
tiana, 229; proclamation line 
(1763), 229; Fort Stanwix 
treaty, 231; colonial schemes 
(1766), 231; Vandalia, 231- 
233; British attitude towards 
settlement, 233 ; Virginia's at- 
titude, 233; importance of 
Dunmore's war, 241; ad- 
vantage of possession, 241 ; 
Quebec act, 276-279; bibliog- 
raphy, 328, 338. See also 

West Indies, slave-trade, 41; 
trade, 52, 71, 83, 105-107; 
bibliography of trade, 339. 

Whately, Thomas, Hutchinson 
letters, 260. 

Whately, William, Hutchinson 
letters, 264. 

White, Alexander, parson's 
cause, 96. 

Wilkes, John, contest, 37; 
colonial aid, 250; success, 

Writings of statesmen, bibliog- 
raphy, 334. 

Writs of assistance, nature, 73; 
use in colonies, 74, 82; case, 
76-83; abolished in England, 
83; legalized, 183; bibliog- 
raphy, 342.